The patron of Edinburgh Children’s Hospital Charity (ECHC), Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice, will visit Edinburgh today to launch the trail which will cover five cities in Scotland.

HRH will meet children from all over Scotland who have benefitted from the work of the charities. The charities work together with the NHS to care for half a million babies, children and young people each year. The money raised pays for hospital equipment, family support services, research, staff, training and play spaces.

For 11 weeks you will be able to see 200 life sized Oor Wullie sculptures in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Glasgow and Inverness. Each one is unique as they have all been designed and decorated by an individual artist. Local businesses and organisations then sponsored each one and they have been placed at interesting locations in the five cities. We were out having a look for them with the benefit of a map in yesterday’s Sunday Post!

Made in Scotland Artist – Wee Lainey Sponsored by Thorntons Law at Haymarket Station Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail – Photo Martin P. McAdam

A further 350 wee sculptures decorated by local schools and youth groups will also accompany the trail and will be mini trails in themselves in local libraries, art galleries and shopping centres.

The purpose is to show support for children’s hospital charities and celebrate the well known young character, but also to offer a summer of fun for everyone this summer. There will be a schools programme as each school can get a wee sculpture of their own. There will be fun runs and other events to get local communities involved.

ECHC, the ARCHIE Foundation and Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity have joined forces with the international arts events company Wild in Art along with DC Thomson Media who are custodians of Oor Wullie to create the trail.

Oor Shopkeeper Wullie Artist – Edinburgh Sketcher Sponsor Scotmid at Scotmid 370 Leith Walk Oor Wullie – Photo Martin P. McAdam

The hope is that the fundraising will boost Scotland’s provision for children and young people in Scottish hospitals by raising essential funds through both the trail itself which runs from 17 June to 30 August 2019 and events associated with it.

This is a first as it is the first time that all the children’s hospital charities have got together for the same cause, and it is the first time that such a trail has been staged in a country rather than just one city.

The 200 sculptures are sponsored by some big Scottish companies like Arnold Clark, Citylink, Avian, Scottish Power, VisitScotland, Malcolm Group, Police Scotland, Scotrail, The Northwood Charitable Trust, Leith, Zero Waste Scotland, The BIG Group and Promotional Warehouse.

An education programme will run alongside the trail ensuring that thousands of schoolchildren get involved.

There is a free app as well as a paper version of the map allowing families to find the sculptures.

At the end there will be a Farewell weekend with the auction of 200 sculptures. It is hoped that this will raise transformational sums of money benefitting every child in hospital in Scotland. The auctions will be run on a regional basis.