Did you know Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne has a Community Programme? Thanks to Community Partner, NorthStandard, some organisations have been able to take part on the trail that may have otherwise to been able.

With their sculpture kindly funded by a sponsor, community groups have worked with artists to create a design that represents their people and place, and after the trail, rather than their Shaun going to auction, it will be returned to the community who created it, to love and keep forever.

One community group to benefit from the programme is Ouseburn Farm in Newcastle. NorthStandard were already a supporter of the farm and wanted to put them forward to be part of Shaun on the Tyne to highlight the important work they do in Newcastle. Ouseburn Farm was founded in 1976, when parents from Byker took over a plot of land on the site where the Farm is now. They wanted their children to have access to nature, to grow their own food and take care of animals. The registered charity now welcomes 36,000 visitors a year, giving them the opportunity to learn about the origins of food and care for nature through engagement with farm life.

Ouseburn are also a care farm and their placement programme for adults with learning disabilities, difficulties and ASD (autistic spectrum disorder) is central to their work. They help their placements to learn new skills and connect with nature, each other and their community through meaningful activity in the farmyard, gardens, kitchen, café and visitor centre.

Working with local artist Jina Gelder…

For Shaun on the Tyne, the farm worked with Jina Gelder, a local wildlife artist, who has been involved in previous St Oswald’s Hospice trails, Elmer’s Great North Parade and Great North Snowdogs. Together with the ASD art group at the farm, Jina created a design that represents what the farm stands for, with lots of little elements coming together to celebrate sustainability, positivity and vibrancy. We don’t want to give too much away but we think they have done an incredible job.

Ouseburn Farm Manager, Hugh Stolliday said:

“It was a great opportunity for us to work with Jina on the design of the sheep. Here at Ouseburn Farm we support adults with additional needs and they love to be involved in all aspects of farm life, including working on projects like Shaun on the Tyne. It was also an opportunity for representatives from NorthStandard, a key farm sponsor and supporter, to come along and work alongside our placements on the designs. We are so excited to see the finished Shaun outside the farm and to welcome all the visitors who are doing the trail.”

NorthStandard have also supported a second group, Baltic Stars, so they too can take part in the trail. Trail Headline Partner Newcastle Council has also taken part in the Community Programme, gifting Shaun sculptures to The Botsey Youth Group and FAR Centre in Newcastle and Shaun trail sponsor Greggs worked with one of their Breakfast Club schools to design a little Shaun for the trail. Thank you to our baa-rilliant community sponsors and all of the people who worked on the designs.

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