The Children’s Hospital Charity have launched their biggest fundraiser to date – the Bears of Sheffield – in a bid to transform the Cancer and Leukaemia Ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital

Since announcing the arrival of the bears in November over 130 schools and community groups have expressed their interest in fundraising for a Little Bear alongside numerous corporates wanting to sponsor a Big Bear.

The Herd of Sheffield, also coordinated by The Children’s Hospital Charity, saw 72 small and 58 large elephants take to the streets of Sheffield but in summer 2020 there will be 100 little and 60 big bears on display for all to see.

The bear trail will officially take to the streets of Sheffield from July through to September when everyone will see the bears in all of their glory around the city of Sheffield. It’s a project where everyone can get involved by supporting, fundraising, sightseeing and giving all the bears great big ol’ bear hugs!

The inspiration behind the bear theme for the trail came from the well-known Sheffield bear in the Botanical Gardens and was, of course, inspired by the charity’s mascot Theo. The bears are extra special because they are being made in the city as well, thanks to the superb Simpsons Ltd in Darnall who have ensured the bears are Sheffield born and bred. Once the bears take to the streets of Sheffield, they will be fundraising to transform the current Cancer and Leukaemia Ward.

The ward treats children from babies through to 19-year olds from South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Derbyshire and as far south as Northampton.

The department is currently one of 20 principal treatment centres in the UK and cares for patients who have other blood problems such as bleeding and inherited disorders.

Around 25 bone marrow transplant patients are treated on the ward every year. Some children stay for three to five days at a time, children who require routine Chemotherapy may stay for six to eight weeks before going home. Patients can be treated on the ward for a number of years until their treatment has finished, regardless of the length of stay, the facilities need to be catered towards making patient and family experiences as comfortable as possible in what is one of the most difficult time of their lives.

The aim of the renovation is to create a new home from home for families with space, privacy and natural light to make hospital stays and isolation a place of sanctuary and calm.

The new facilities will help the children and their parents feel at home, whether they visit for a day or stay for a long period of time. Whatever the length of stay, the transformed ward will make the hospital feel more like home and build a better future for the children.