Chil­dren’s char­i­ties re­veal statue de­signs to kick off spec­tac­u­lar £2m fundraiser

The Sunday Post (Inverness) - - NEWS - By Tracey Bryce trbryce@sundaypost.com

Ev­ery one of the 150 or so Oor Wul­lies soon to be seen across Scot­land will be spe­cial – but these three are more spe­cial than most.

The fa­mous Sun­day Post scamp launched his Big Bucket Trail last week to raise mil­lions of pounds to sup­port some of Scot­land’s bravest chil­dren. Next sum­mer, scores of spec­tac­u­lar, spe­cially de­signed Wul­lies will be sited across the coun­try to help raise cash for three amaz­ing hospi­tal char­i­ties that help care for nearly half a mil­lion young peo­ple ev­ery year.

The Wul­l­lies will go on dis­play for fam­i­lies to en­joy be­fore the sculp­tures are auc­tioned off to hope­fully raise mil­lions of pounds for our good causes – Glas­gow Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal Char­ity (GCHC), Ed­in­burgh Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal Char­ity (ECHC) and The ARCHIE Foun­da­tion.

And the char­i­ties, who joined First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon at a spe­cial launch party 10 days ago, were in­vited to be first to de­sign their stat­ues.

Our play­ful school­boy has been turned into a hospi­tal hero wear­ing dun­ga­ree scrubs in the Glas­gow char­ity’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion, de­signed by pa­tients and staff.

The Ed­in­burgh of­fer­ing, de­signed by ECHC’S arts co-or­di­na­tor Ca­tri­ona Mcin­tyre, takes its in­spi­ra­tion from the Ja­panese art of kintsugi.

The Archie Foun­da­tion’s sculp­ture, cre­ated by artist Rhi­an­non Moore, is based on Brave Wee Boy, the char­ity’s own statue.

GCHC is the coun­try’s largest chil­dren’s hospi­tal. It wel­comes 168,000 young­sters ev­ery year, help­ing pay for the lat­est med­i­cal equip­ment and re­search.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive Shona Car­dle said: “The med­i­cal care that our chil­dren re­ceive must be sec­ond to none, how­ever med­i­cal care is just one part of the hospi­tal pic­ture.

“Play is how chil­dren make sense of the world, and can bring light and laugh­ter dur­ing even the dark­est of days.

“As one mum told me: ‘The med­i­cal and nurs­ing care was sec­ond to none. But the play team – they saved our san­ity.’” Last year, GCHC funded more than £1.6 mil­lion of play pro­grammes, fam­ily and pa­tient sup­port ser­vices, and en­vi­ron­men­tal en­hance­ments to sup­port the men­tal health of chil­dren, sib­lings and fam­i­lies.

Shona added: “Oor Wul­lie’s BIG Bucket Trail will not only bring smiles to those who visit the sculp­tures; it will en­sure we con­tinue to make our hos­pi­tals happy, pos­i­tive places.”

ECHC’S Big Bucket Trail project man­ager Han­nah Bid­dulph said: “It is an hon­our to be part of this project. There is a real emo­tional pull, for me. I un­der­stand the other side be­cause I have been that par­ent at the bed­side of a sick child in hospi­tal and know the ben­e­fits projects like this can bring and the dif­fer­ence they can make to fam­i­lies.”

ECHC believes chil­dren should be chil­dren first, and pa­tients sec­ond – so con­sid­ers it a priv­i­lege to sup­port the tens of thou­sands of young­sters who need it most and make the hospi­tal ex­pe­ri­ence as child-friendly as pos­si­ble.

Its in­no­va­tive arts pro­gramme has grown eight times in size since it started three years ago and now of­fers more than 700 ac­tiv­i­ties to help chil­dren have fun in hospi­tal, in­clud­ing phys­io­ther­apy dance classes, even for chil­dren who are bed­bound.

The ARCHIE Foun­da­tion al­ready knows which pro­grammes will reap the ben­e­fits.

ARCHIE is the of­fi­cial char­ity of Royal Aberdeen Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal, the High­land Chil­dren’s Unit in In­ver­ness and Tay­side Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal in Dundee.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive David Wood said: “In Grampian, we funded the build­ing of Royal Aberdeen Chil­dren’s Hospi­tal.

More than 10 years later, we’re pro­vid­ing up­grades, and fund­ing fam­ily ac­com­mo­da­tion and ad­vanced med­i­cal equip­ment. Now, we’re fundrais­ing to trans­form the out­side spa­ces and sup­ply equip­ment, toys and books.

“And in Tay­side, we are rais­ing £2m to help build a Chil­dren’s Theatre Suite that will al­low more chil­dren to have their op­er­a­tions in a child-friendly en­vi­ron­ment.”

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