From Scarborough to Sheffield: One bear’s journey to raise much-needed funds for charity

May 21, 2021

The Scarborough Group Foundation, the charitable arm of Scarborough Group International (SGI) has joined the list of sponsors behind the Bears of Sheffield fundraising initiative.

The campaign, which is being run by The Children’s Hospital Charity to raise vital funds to transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, features a sculpture trail of 60, 2.1m tall, fibreglass bears individually designed and decorated by local, regional and national artists and dotted around the city.

A further 100 little bears, which have been designed, painted and fundraising for by nursery, school and college pupils, will sit alongside them in the trail, which takes place between 12 July and 29 September 2021.

On behalf of SGI, which is heavily invested in Sheffield through its developments at Digital Campus and Sheffield Olympic Legacy Park, The Scarborough Group Foundation has sponsored a big bear which will be decorated by professional artist Phil Root, as part of the mass public-art exhibition.

Members of the public are being encouraged to purchase a trail map, hunt the bears down and tick them off the map or app, and if they like any specific bears they can donate towards them.

After the trail is complete, each small bear will be returned to its school, nursery or college, while the larger bears will be auctioned to raise more funds.

It is hoped the trail can repeat the success of the Herd of Sheffield in 2016, when elephant sculptures attracted about 175,000 visitors to the city and raised £610,000.

Sandra McCabe, Trustee of The Scarborough Group Foundation, commented:

“Having supported The Children’s Hospital Charity for well over a decade, we know first-hand just how valuable its work is.

“The Bears of Sheffield initiative resonates with the ethos of the wider Group’s philosophy of engaging and giving back to local communities as well as supporting health and wellbeing. We hope that by supporting this campaign we can help to raise vital funds to transform facilities at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, while encouraging people to get active.”

Sophie Coburn, Corporate Partnerships Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity, added:

“The Scarborough Group Foundation’s longstanding support has seen almost £250,000 donated for new facilities and equipment above the standard NHS provision at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. We are delighted that their incredible support is continuing this summer for the Bears of Sheffield.

“Every penny raised during the sculpture trail will help transform our Cancer and Leukaemia ward, which sees patients from across the UK for chemotherapy, operations and bone marrow transplants.”

Commenting on his creation, artist Phil Root, said:

“The design applied to the Bear uses a recurring motif in my work, one of a simplified landscape with day on the front and night on the reverse.

“It’s been a challenge painting on the 3D surface of the bear, I’ve had to contend with curved surfaces and trying to make the image come together when seen from a single angle. I like the way the body of the bear breaks up the image and as you walk around it you notice little parts of the whole image making small abstract compositions. It has definitely made me think more around this composition, it’s nuances and how it’ll be perceived in public.”

The exact location of the Scarborough Group bear will be announced in the coming weeks but the public can donate towards its fundraising total online.

To find out more about the Bears of Sheffield and how the trail will support Sheffield Children’s Hospital, visit the website.

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