Princess Beatrice officially launches Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail


By Democrat reporter

Princess Beatrice of York, patron of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, has officially launched Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail.

The trail is considered to be the first of its kind, which sees five of Scotland’s major cities unite for 11 weeks, with 200 life-sized Oor Wullie sculptures taking to the streets in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness – supporting children’s hospital charities and celebrating Scotland’s favourite and forever young son, Oor Wullie.

Scotland’s children’s hospital charities (Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity, The ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity) have joined forces with international arts events company, Wild in Art, and DC Thomson Media, custodians of Oor Wullie, to create the trail.

The project aims to significantly boost Scotland’s provision for children and young people in hospital by raising essential funds through the trail and associated events and sculpture auctions. This is the first time that all of Scotland’s children’s hospital charities have united for the same worthy cause. Her Royal Highness will meet children from across Scotland who have benefitted from the work of the charities.

The trail across Scotland comprises of 200 life-sized, bespoke-designed Oor Wullie sculptures across 700 miles.

From June to September, the trail is expected to attract over one million members of the public who will be encouraged to explore the country with free maps and a downloadable app, in order to ‘spot’ all sculptures in the trail. A further 350 ‘wee’ sculptures decorated by local schools, youth and community groups will accompany the main trail, forming mini trails in local libraries, art galleries, shopping centres and public spaces where families can take part in fun activities.

In September, when the trail has ended, all sculptures will be brought together in their respective cities and exhibited as part of a Farewell Weekend. The culmination of the campaign will be a series of regional auctions to raise significant funds for each of the charities involved.

The trail aims to raise awareness for Scotland’s children’s hospital charities, which work in partnership with the NHS to provide care for a combined half a million babies, children and young people each year. Money raised by the charity goes towards hospital equipment, family support services, research, staff, training and play and recreation spaces.

Each life-sized Oor Wullie sculpture is unique, reflecting many aspects of Scotland’s cultural identity, and has been individually designed by 200 commissioned artists. For the past eight months, the three charities have been working with local businesses and organisations to sponsor the Oor Wullie sculptures, which are now placed at iconic and interesting locations throughout the five trail cities.

By joining artists, businesses, communities, and schools together through Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail, the project aims to bring lots of activities for the public and visitors to enjoy throughout the summer. There will also be an opportunity for schools and communities to play a significant part in the trail.

A schools programme will run alongside the event with every school in Scotland being invited to take part in the trail and receive a wee Oor Wullie sculpture of their own. Fun runs, apps, and a number of associated events will encourage local communities to get involved.

Project milestones:

* October 2018 – The Rt. Hon. Nicola Sturgeon MSP, First Minister of Scotland launched the trail. All sectors invited to sponsor a sculpture;

* Winter 2018 – Artists from across the country individually design each sculpture;

* Spring 2019 – Schools in Scotland invited to take part in trail and receive a wee Oor Wullie sculpture to decorate;

* June – August 2019 – All decorated sculptures installed across the country for everyone to discover and enjoy throughout summer 2019!; and

* September 2019 – Spectacular Farewell Weekend and auctions of sculptures.

Key highlights:

* The trail is an historic event – it’s considered the first time in the world that an entire country has held a public art trail, having previously been held only in single cities at a time

* Oor Wullie is an icon, who emotes nostalgia and affection;

* All 200 sculptures are sponsored by some of Scotland’s most respected and well-known companies – the national sponsor for this event is Arnold Clark, and other partners include: Citlylink, Avian, Scottish Power, Malcolm Group, Scotrail, Leith Agency, VisitScotland, Active Scotland, Police Scotland, and Deposit and Return Scheme;

* The trail has an education programme – which will include tens of thousands of Scottish schoolchildren in the event;

* The trail is free to participate in – a downloadable free app as well as paper versions of the map, will allow families to take part in finding the sculptures, without having to pay.  Few events are so accessible for families;

* The trail encourages the public to engage with art and promotes positive messages relating to health and wellbeing– working with our partner, Active Scotland, have developed a pedometer for the app and activities to enjoy the Trail while walking, running or doing start jumps!; and

* The trail will end with the auction of all 200 sculptures – potentially raising transformational sums of money for every baby, child and young person in hospital in Scotland.

More information can be found at

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