Last summer, Gromit Unleashed 2 brought 67 sculptures of Nick Park’s Academy Award®-winning characters Wallace, Gromit and Feathers McGraw to Bristol and the surrounding area, with designs from international film studio Pixar Animations and world-famous brands LEGO and Star Trek. Trail fans flocked from across the country and overseas, spending a combined 34,000 days around Bristol hunting for the popular sculptures, which were visited over 3 million times.
Proceeds from the auction night, which saw bidders from across the world, raised a staggering £1.3 million. Just six months later – through further fundraising and support – the total amount now raised by the trail stands at £2 million.
The charity – which recently won ‘Charity of the Year’ at the 2019 Bristol Life Awards – this week celebrated this landmark with a guest visit from its founding patron and Wallace & Gromit Creator Nick Park to the hospital. Nick led a one-to-one drawing class with Oncology patient Kara in the hospital’s play centre.
Nick Park, creator of Wallace & Gromit and Patron of The Grand Appeal said: “Last summer, Gromit Unleashed 2 took the city of Bristol by storm with its innovation and creativity. It is fantastic to see, first hand, the real difference the money will make to so many young patients – like Kara – and their families from across the South West who are expertly cared for at the hospital.”
The Grand Appeal is currently supporting over 100 pioneering projects valued at £5 million at the hospital and NICU. The £2 million raised through Gromit Unleashed 2 will fund an array of developments, including: a ground-breaking research programme in paediatric intensive care; a revolutionary 3D Bio-Printing Service; a specialist family support service; and an expansion of the hospital’s palliative care and bereavement support service.
Nicola Masters, Director at The Grand Appeal said: “Everything that we do here at The Grand Appeal is to make Bristol Children’s Hospital and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit the very best they can be. We believe we have now run three of the most successful charity arts trail in the world, and we’re so grateful to all our supporters who have helped us reach this latest milestone. The money raised will have a life-changing impact on the brave young patients and families that we meet every single day.”
Bryony Strachan, Medical Director of the children’s hospital added:“On behalf of all the staff, patients and families here at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and the neonatal intensive care unit at St Michael’s Hospital, a massive thank you to everyone that made the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail so fabulous. We are so grateful to The Grand Appeal team, the sponsors and the talented artists and engineers that gave such delight to so many last summer.
“Most of all, thank you to everyone that gave and helpedto fundraise such an incredible amount. Your donations will support us to provide the best possible care for children and young people across the region.”
Aardman is also celebrating 30 years of Wallace & Gromit in 2019, so there is a calendar of forthcoming activity and fundraising initiatives for The Grand Appeal around the city which will continue to delight families this Summer and beyond.
To find out more about The Grand Appeal and how you can support Bristol Children’s Hospital and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, visit www.grandappeal.org.uk.