WHERE’S WULLIE? HE’S EVERYWHERE
Scotland’s favourite scamp launches spectacular trail of stunning statues to raise millions for children’s charities
First Minister helps Scotland’s favourite son launch a spectacular, nationwide fundraiser
Itis enough to give Fat Boab palpitations but his pal Oor Wullie has taken the first steps on a spectacular, nationwide fundraiser.
The Sunday Post icon even enlisted Nicola Sturgeon last week to help him announce his Big Bucket Trail raising millions for Scotland’s bravest children. Since his first appearance more than 80 years ago, generations have enjoyed Wullie’s mischievous antics – and now fans will be able to follow him around the country.
Next summer, Scotland’s first national art trail will see at least 150 Wullie statues go on display for families to enjoy before the sculptures are auctioned off to raise funds for children’s hospital charities.
From next June to September, the colourful statues of the spiky-haired scamp – all uniquely designed – will be placed around Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness.
The summer-long event follows the hugely successful Bucket Trail in Dundee two years ago.
The First Minister, a huge Oor Wullie fan, helped launch the campaign on Thursday night at a special event at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh.
She said the initiative could help change the lives of thousands of young patients supported by Wullie’s three good causes: Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity and The ARCHIE Foundation.
Ms Sturgeon told the audience: “They provide care for more than 450,000 babies, children and young people, but that doesn’t tell the whole story because it is about them getting back the childhood that we want every young person to have.
“Any initiative that raises money for these wonderful organisations is one that deserves our wholehearted support. “There is no better way of supporting it than by using Scotland’s best-loved character.” Ellis Watson, executive chairman of DC Thomson
Media, thanked the First Minister for her support and said Wullie – voted Scots’ favourite national hero in 2004, pipping William Wallace and Sean Connery – was the ideal choice to unite the country for fun and fundraising.
He said: “Amongst all the giggles, the silliness and the fun, we are deadly serious in our vision and we will never rest until we have provided exceptional care for children and their families at the time when they need it most, because nothing should get in the way of being a child.
“Funds raised from Oor Wullie’s Big Bucket Trail will create a lasting legacy and one that will live on for generations.
“The cash will go towards the very latest hospital equipment to save and maintain quality of life, for family support services, for research, for play programmes, for child-friendly hospital facilities, reception spaces and so much more.
“Oor Wullie himself, and his friends in the Broons family, have been beloved by Scottish people for 80 years and everyone, especially children, love him. “He’s an iconic laddie who wages war against boredom and is a great righter of wrongs. I mean, jings, who better to launch this trail across Scotland? Something pretty big is coming down the line, and all just because one cheeky, mischievous wee boy wants to help some of the more deserving boys and girls all across Scotland.”
After a special golden Oor Wullie statue was unveiled, inspirational Evan Glass, who is supported by Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, brought the house down with his dance moves.
The 11-year-old, from Edinburgh, has mild cerebral palsy, ADHD, autism and mild ataxia – a group of disorders which affect co-ordination, balance and speech. When he was born, he wasn’t expected to be able to walk, talk or eat. But he has defied medical odds by learning how to do all three.
Edinburgh-based teacher Christina Liddell, of Dance Base, has helped transform the way Evan moves, boosting his self-confidence, too, by incorporating repetitive physio exercises into choreographed dance routines.
After Evan’s inspiratonal performane and music from the Glasgow NHS Choir, Eddie Hawthorne, chief executive of main sponsors Arnold Clark, said: “The one thing about DC Thomson and Arnold Clark is that we are passionate about helping these kids.
“I hope many people in Scotland will join us on the Big Bucket Trail because I think it’s going to be an exciting journey.”
After 11 weeks on public display, the 150 sculptures, each sponsored by firms, will be auctioned off to boost the total for the charities even further.
As part of Oor Wullie’s Bucket Trail, run by Wild in Art, every school in Scotland will be invited to take part and receive a Wee Oor Wullie sculpture to decorate.
In 2016, DC Thomson’s Oor Wullie Bucket Trail raised £900,000 for The ARCHIE Foundation’s bid to place a specialist unit at Tayside Children’s Hospital at Ninewells in Dundee.
A’BODY’S WULLIE? NO KIDDING
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon takes Wullie’s seat as she launches his Big Bucket Trail in Edinburgh on Thursday
Shoppers get a sneak preview as two Oor Wullie statues appear in Albert Square, Dundee last week
Nicola Sturgeon with Evan Glass