We are excited and proud to welcome Northumbrian Water to our flock, as the Learning Programme Headline Partner of Shaun the Sheep on the Tyne.

The Learning Programme is a key element of the trail and will see 70 ‘Little Shaun’ sculptures located in ‘flocks’ within public buildings and visitor centres across Newcastle. They will be displayed alongside the 45 large Shaun sculptures, painted by artists and sponsored by businesses. The beauty of the Little Trail is that these super cute Shaun’s will be designed and painted by young people from schools and youth groups from across the region.

Taking part in the programme would usually cost the schools £650 each, but as part of Northumbrian Water’s support of the trail, they will gift five small Shaun sculptures of schools across the North East, who wanted to take part but didn’t have the funds available. Schools sponsored by Northumbrian Water are Percy Main Primary School in North Tyneside, Langley Park Primary School and Consett Infant School in County Durham and Eastlea Primary School and Grace Darling C of E Primary School in Northumberland.

Participating schools will now design and decorate their very own Shaun that will join the trail for 10 weeks starting on 19th July 2023. Northumbrian Water also sponsored a large Shaun, which will be decorated by a local artist and situated at an iconic location in the North East.

At the end of April, the children at Percy Main Primary had a visit from Libby Fryer, Shaun on the Tyne Project Lead, and she explained a little bit about St Oswald’s Hospice, the charity behind the trails and the beneficiary of the funds raised. She then introduced Ross Smith, Partnerships Manager at Northumbrian Water, who met some of the creative youngsters, to find out about the inspiration behind their design, The Caaalm Laaamb.

We don’t want to give too much away before their sculpture is shown on the trail, but pupil Korey said:

“Everyone had an opportunity to share ideas and help come up with the final design together”. His classmate David explained that he was “proud that the design represented my school” and Amber hinted that it might feature “sensory things like bubbles.”

Teacher Michele Mohun added:

“Everyone at the school will be involved in some way, as there is lots to do to get our Shaun in perfect condition for the trail! Once its returned to the school, he’ll join our two Elmers, Pablo and Percy, which the children decorated in 2019 as part of the previous St Oswald’s Hospice Trail.”

As part of Headline Partnership, Northumbrian Water will be working with schools to deliver their education programme, The Ripple Effect.

Ross Smith, Partnerships Manager, said:

“Supporting the communities in the areas we work in is very important to us, so we’re delighted to be working with St Oswald’s Hospice on this.

“This fantastic partnership builds on our history of working closely with schools across the region – which we do through our education programme, The Ripple Effect. By supporting the Learning Programme, we hope to inspire young people to make small changes in how they use water so that together we can make big waves in protecting our precious water supplies.”

“We look forward to seeing the positive impact that the Learning Programme will have in our community, and we can’t wait for the sculptures to come to life over the next few months.”

Ross Smith, Partnerships Manager at Northumbrian Water with children at Percy Main Primary

Libby Fryer, Trail Lead and Fundraising Manager at St Oswald’s Hospice said:

“We are so pleased to welcome Northumbrian Water to the flock, as our Learning Programme Partner. The excitement and engagement we’ve seen when visiting schools to talk to them about the project has been fantastic and this is matched by the team at Northumbrian Water. Together with them, our inspirational young people and other sponsors and trail partners, we will deliver a fantastic, free and inclusive trail for everyone to enjoy this summer.

The Little Shaun on the Tyne Trail opens alongside the main trail on Wednesday 19th July and the sculptures, decorated by schools, will be displayed in flocks in venues across Newcastle. A dedicated app and trail map will be launched soon to help visitors track them all down. Visit our dedicated art trail page for more information and search Shaun on the Tyne on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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