Mini models of Scottish cartoon icon Oor Wullie have started popping up in gardens around the north-east as part of a new campaign for a local children’s charity.
The ARCHIE Foundation is encouraging families to buy, design and paint their own wee Wullie, then place it outside their home as part of the new Garden Trail.
The campaign, based on last year’s massively successful Oor Wullie Big Bucket Trail, will raise much-needed funds for the charity which, like many others, has been severely impacted by the effects of Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown.
Yesterday was the first full day of the Garden Trail, and already enthusiastic youngsters have been picking up their paintbrushes and getting to work.
Paula Cormack, director of fundraising at the ARCHIE Foundation, said: “We’ve been blown away, to be perfectly honest.
“We launched at 4pm on Thursday through our social media, and within almost minutes the orders were pinging in.
“It was just fantastic to see – it’s been shared a lot, with a lot of people tagging friends who they know would want to take part.
“Already there has been a phenomenal excitement around it, which is more than we’d hoped for, so we’re really excited to see where this can go.”
Last year more than £1.2 million was raised for children’s charities when the full-size statues of the popular DC Thomson character were auctioned off following the conclusion of the hit project which saw them brighten up streets across Aberdeen and the whole country.
The trail was held in conjunction with events company Wild in Art, as well as DC Thomson Media, and was backed by the Evening Express which included free maps of the figures’ locations with the paper.
ARCHIE Foundation supporters are also being encouraged to “pay it forward” by buying or donating money towards a Paint Your Own Oor Wullie sculpture for a child in hospital, helping to alleviate any anxiety they might have and to develop their art skills.
Paula added: “It’s difficult for the children at the moment.
“They’re being protected even more so than normal to keep them safe from Covid, but that has reduced the amount of support that the Play Team can give.
“It’s really nice to be able to help the children and give them something extra in that way.”
David Wood, CEO of The ARCHIE Foundation, commented: “Charities everywhere are under enormous pressure and the effects of the pandemic are putting additional strain on families who were already really struggling.
“The support and services offered by The ARCHIE Foundation are vital and quite simply cannot be put at risk.
“Things like providing accommodation for parents when their children are in hospital or providing emergency funding to help families cope with the unforeseen costs that illness can bring are not nice-to-haves they are fundamentals.
“It’s all thanks to the generosity and kindness of our supporters that we’re able to continue to provide these vital services and we really hope the public will get behind this campaign.”
Sculptures are now selling on the charity’s website priced at £20. More details about the campaign and the charity’s work can be found on www.archie.org