People taking part in a free public art trail on Tyneside this summer are urged to get sponsored – and become a St Oswald’s Trail Champion. The hospice is behind Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne – a trail of 115 sculptures of Wallace and Grommit’s fleecy friend, placed at landmarks across Newcastle – which runs until 27 September.
And the charity is asking those planning to follow the trail and track down each of the sculptures, to sign up to the Trail Champions page on its website and seek sponsorship from friends and family.
Those who raise money will receive a trail champion certificate and medal and anyone raising over £100 will get a family ticket for up to four people to attend the Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne farewell event at Newcastle Civic Centre on 7 and 8 October.
Oliver – Trail Champion
One young fundraiser who has already signed up to become a Trail Champion is nine-year-old Oliver Thirlaway from Wallsend, who has set himself the challenge of finding every one of the sculptures before the end of his school summer holidays.
The young adventurer signed up to become a Shaun on the Tyne Trail Champion as he and mum Linzy are long-time supporters of St Oswald’s Hospice.
Oliver’s grandma, Joan, died in 2014 and spent her last days at the hospice and in 2018, Linzy’s best friend Jenny, spent several weeks receiving care there.
“Oliver and sister Robyn, now 12, spent quite a bit of time at the hospice visiting Jenny, and after she died, we all accessed the bereavement support offered by Brenda and Beth in the Family Support Service there,” said Linzy.
“It really made a difference at a difficult time. Sadly, another close friend, Jude, died a few years later and St Oswald’s were there once again, to care for her and support us all through.”
The family has been a regular fundraiser over the years and Linzy said: “when we heard about the trail, we decided to kick start our fundraising again.
“Oliver has asked friends and family for sponsorship to find the Shauns and so far, he’s been out on the trail with me, his dad, grandma, auntie and uncle. We are planning to do it in sections and already have spotted quite a few of the flock. Its free, fun and a great way to discover new places in the city.
“For example, Oliver had no idea there was an actual castle in Newcastle until he spotted it during our Shaun search! It’s like being a Toon Tourist, we love it.”
Oliver said: “I wanted to do the trail to raise money for the hospice because they help a lot of people like my Aunty Jenny who are very poorly. Everyone there is kind and caring and they need money to keep doing a great job.”
To find out more about the Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne or to sign up to become a Trail Champion and access a sponsorship form visit https://www.shaunonthetyne.co.uk/
Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne is being held in conjunction with creative producers Wild in Art, along with Shaun the Sheep creators Aardman and headline trail sponsor Newcastle City Council.