Hundreds hit the Hoodwinked trail in first few days.
Visitors from all over the UK flocked to Nottingham city centre over the weekend to check out the Hoodwinked trail of 33 colourful robin sculptures and more than 400 people have already downloaded the trail app. For each download Nottinghamshire Hospice receives £1 to help patients.
The five-foot robins appeared on the trail overnight on Friday, surprising revellers, shoppers and city workers alike. Among those visiting were art trail followers from as far afield as Worcester, Sheffield and the south of England. And despite reports of football fans running amok in the town centre on Saturday after England’s win, the robins remained largely unscathed.
Michelle Thompson, Hoodwinked Project Officer at Nottinghamshire Hospice said: “It’s great that so many people are doing the trail and we expect it to attract even more support as the school holidays get underway. The robins survived Saturday’s football crowds and we very much hope that people will continue to respect them after tonight’s match.”
Michelle, who accompanied a team from J Murphy & Sons and Nottingham City Council on a lorry to deliver the sculptures overnight on Friday, finishing at 6.30am on Saturday, added: “We got some interesting reactions from people out on the town in the early hours but most people were really positive about the trail and interested in finding out about the hospice.
“We’re so grateful to J Murphy & Sons who are one of our corporate supporters for giving us the service for free. The guys from Murphy and the City Council were fantastic, without their expertise and knowledge this huge task would have been a lot harder.”
Among the first visitors to the trail was Nottinghamshire Hospice patient Phyllis Betts, (pictured left) who helped create the ABSN-sponsored ‘Hands of Hope’ sculpture. Patients worked with artist Jess Kemp on the design and painting of the sculpture. Phyllis chose a sunflower because it was her late daughter’s favourite flower.
Phyllis, of Lowdham, Nottinghamshire said: “They did well to get them all in and anchored down over night. The robins have really cheered up the city centre an it’s bound to help more people to know about the hospice and will hopefully raise lots of money.
“We went to see eight of the sculptures and hope to get round the rest another day. It’s surprising how many people were taking an interest in doing the trail. All the robins were done very, very well but ours is the only one done by patients.”
On Saturday and Sunday, Nottinghamshire Hospice staff and volunteers carried out bucket collections along the trail.
“Everyone was really positive and even people who’d never heard of Hoodwinked were downloading the app and following the trail,” said Volunteer Services Manager Sarah Rice. “People were commenting about what a unique concept it is and what a lovely family-friendly activity the trail is.”
Sculptures on the trail were been designed and painted by local artists and sponsored by Nottingham businesses. The trail will last for 12 weeks and at the end of the summer the sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for Nottinghamshire Hospice, charity partner for the project. Local schools have also created more than 50 colourful book benches along the trail.
Hoodwinked is led by Nottingham City Council in partnership with Wild in Art, a leading creative producer of spectacular free public art events through the creation of uniquely painted sculptures.
Trail maps are available from the Nottingham Tourism Centre in Smithy Row. To download the app, go to http://www.hoodwinked2018.co.uk/hoodwinked-app/