Boldmere Bear has been in residence for less than two weeks and it is already a hit, welcoming visitors young and old to enjoy its vibrant representation of day and night in Boldmere. Alongside positive reviews from all areas of the community, Boldmere Bear has been the most popular bear in the whole of Birmingham on the official Big Sleuth App for seven of the first eight days of the trail, racking up over 800 votes!
Among the visitors to Boldmere Bear, have been some local celebrities including The Autistic Gardener, Olympic high jumper Robbie Grabarz and Team GB gymnast Hamish Carter. Additionally, last Sunday (16th July) several local dignitaries, sponsors and supporters of the bear gathered to toast its arrival at a VIP reception at The Deli Social. Boldmere Futures Partnership were delighted to welcome as special guests the Royal Town’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Derrick Griffin, and Dennis Kennedy, the founder of Sutton Coldfield Community Games. The Community Games’ mascot Buddy is due to make an appearance with Boldmere Bear very soon.
Now Boldmere Bear has arrived, the attention of Boldmere Futures Partnership is turning to its legacy. The Boldmere Bear Legacy Fund will help secure the Boldmere Bear’s future on the high street for years to come, as well as ensuring it remains at the heart of the community through a series of activities held throughout the year ahead. Legacy costs include paying for a more permanent plinth, maintenance, special events, education work and encouraging a healthy lifestyle.
The Boldmere Bear Mega Summer Raffle launched last Saturday (15th July) and continues throughout the whole summer. There are over £700 worth of prizes to be won, tickets are only £1 and are available from Age Concern, Boldmere Library, The Deli, The Garden Room (at Halls Garden Centre), Harvester and Sportology. The draw will take place on Saturday 25th September. All proceeds will go to the Boldmere Bear Legacy Fund.
Chair of Boldmere Futures Partnership, John Lymn, said: “Boldmere Bear looks very at home on our high street and we’re delighted the community has fallen in love with it. Now the hard work begins again as work to secure our bear’s future here in Boldmere and we’d like to encourage everyone to give what they can to help Boldmere Bear be a force for good for years to come.”
Cllr Paul Long who championed bringing a bear to Boldmere from the beginning said: “The VIP evening was a tremendous success. It was ‘grrrrreat’ to give something back to the businesses that sponsored Boldmere Bear and residents who made a significant financial contribution. When I originally brought the idea of a bear for Boldmere to the table, I knew it would bring the community together, but I never dreamed that our bear would become so popular during the first week. Being voted favourite bear is a testament to the hard work of all involved and especially Boldmere Bear’s artist Donna Newman.”
Boldmere Bear is part of The Big Sleuth, a free-public art trail organised by Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in partnership with creative producers, Wild in Art. The trail is running for 10 weeks this summer. The Big Sleuth, so called because ‘sleuth’ is the name of a group of bears, will bring ‘Bear-mingham’ alive with colour and activity as colleagues, friends and families discover the bears hidden in the regions’ bear-utiful open spaces, inspiring buildings and other hidden gems, which they may not have seen before.
Joining Boldmere Bear in the area is Mother Bear, sponsored by Seesaws Day Nursery, which lives in Sutton Park by Boldmere Gate. Mother Bear is made up of a number of puzzles, keeping all her fans busy hunting for clues!
The two big bears are also joined by four bear cubs from our local schools. Boldmere Junior School, Boldmere Infant School, Court Farm Primary School and New Oscott Primary School have all bought and decorated a cub which form part of The Big Sleuth Trail. They can be found at The Garden Room at Halls Garden Centre, Age Concern, Sportology and Edge Menswear respectively.
Keep up to date with all things Boldmere by checking out our new community website, Boldmere Online, at www.boldmere.org and by following ‘Boldmere Futures Partnership’ and ‘Boldmere Bear’ on Facebook and Twitter.