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Hare We Go! as north-east cancer charity launches its new art sculpture trail


By David Porter

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Clan Cancer Support, the north-east’s leading cancer support charity has partnered with Wild in Art for a second time to bring an exciting new art trail to the north-east, Moray, Orkney and Shetland.

The Big Hop takes place in 2023
The Big Hop takes place in 2023

Following on from the success of their Light the North Trail, which raised over £324,000 on auction night alone, 40 hare sculptures designed and created by some of the country’s most talented artists will be seen ‘hare, there and everywhere’ as people search for and discover the striking sculptures across the north-east of Scotland, Orkney and Shetland.

The Big Hop Trail will take the public on another cultural tour of the north-east and the islands from July to September in 2023, letting them discover and engage with the area.

The trail is currently the only one of its kind planned for Scotland in 2023.

The sculpture trail will also coincide with Clan’s 40th anniversary next year, with 40 sculptures being the focal point to celebrate the charity’s commitment to supporting people affected by cancer, their family, carers and friends.

Clan’s chief executive, Fiona Fernie, says, “We’re delighted to have partnered with Wild in Art again to bring our next trail to life for individuals and families across Scotland to enjoy.

"Clan has been supporting people for almost 40 years, and we simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take on another trail as we continue to financially recover post-covid and knowing that monies raised from the trail auction will make such a difference to the lives of people affected by a cancer diagnosis.

"We chose the hare sculpture as they are an indigenous animal found in all parts of Clan’s geography.

"Hares navigate rough and difficult terrain in order to survive, much like our clients during their cancer journey, and are adaptable, like our services team who deliver person-centred support to anyone affected by cancer.

"Most importantly, hares have long ears and incredible hearing.

"What better way to depict our lifeline listening and support service and the importance of being heard.”

Fiona continues, “With over 20,000 people living with cancer across the region and people living longer with cancer, Clan’s support is more vital than ever.

"We provide the emotional and practical support needed to ensure that people’s wellbeing needs are taken care of at all stages of their cancer journey.

"We are proud to once again bring an exciting trail to communities that link with Clan and hope that The Big Hop Trail and our partnership with Wild in Art will allow us to help even more people affected by cancer.”

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world, including Manchester, Auckland, Sydney, Cape Town and São Paulo and worked with partners to create trails across Scotland including the Clyde mascot trail for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Wild Dolphins in Aberdeen, Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail, and more recently the Lighthouse trail in the North East of Scotland.

Wild in Art co-founder and managing director Charlie Langhorne comments: “We’re very proud to debut the newest addition to our sculpture portfolio and introduce Clan’s second trail – The Big Hop.

"The sculpture trail is the ideal way to get out and about with friends and family to see more of the place in which you live and learn about local history.

"As well as being educational, the sculptures are beautiful, each one having been lovingly created by a local artist. "Each individual sculpture tells a different story, and residents and tourists enjoy following the entire trail using the trail map and app.

"From schools to community groups, local people have got behind the trails, and raised millions of pounds for local causes.

“Wild in Art passionately champions the importance of art for everybody, and the social, cultural and education benefits it provides.

"The Big Hop Trail is an exciting project for us as it will be interesting to see the people of the north-east of Scotland interact with the sculptures of Clan’s second trail.”

Speaking of his continued sponsorship of Clan’s trail, Scott Birnie of The Good Sleep Company in Banff, says, “It was great to be involved with Clan’s original ‘Light the North’ trail, there was such a buzz about it all.

"It was also so good to be able to attend the finale auction to buy back the sculpture we had sponsored, as it was one of the first in-person events I had attended post-covid.

"I am delighted to show my support once again and be the first official sponsor for The Big Hop Trail. I didn’t know what Clan did before I was involved with these events so it’s good to be able to be associated with the event, not just from a business awareness perspective for me but also knowing how much the trail benefits Clan, does so much good and supports individuals and families in our local community.”

For further information on sponsorship of the hare sculptures or to express interest in the project email thebighop@clancancersupport.org or call 01224 647000


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