Health Minister Vaughan Gething joined children from across South Wales to become lifesaving superheroes for the day in aid of Tŷ Hafan.
More than 1,200 children and young people attended the Snowdogs: Tails in Wales Learners Day event in Cardiff Bay to celebrate their role in raising thousands of pounds for the children’s hospice.
Snowdogs: Tails in Wales is the biggest ever mass-participation public art trail in Wales, highlighting the iconic landmarks and stunning open spaces and boosting the local economy in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.
The event has been organised by children’s hospice charity Tŷ Hafan, public art producers Wild in Art and Penguin Ventures. The theme was inspired by The Snowman™ and the Snowdog, the animated sequel to Raymond Briggs’ iconic book and film The Snowman™.
In the weeks before the pack of more than 40 giant individually designed Snowdogs were unleashed onto the streets of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan, 56 schools and youth groups designed their own Snowpups to join the trail.
They also took part in a range of fundraising activities to raise more than £20,000 for children with life-limiting conditions at Tŷ Hafan , with Cadoxton Primary School raising £3,000 in a single day.
During Learners Day, the budding fundraisers learned a range of important facts and skills as part of their Superhero Challenge, including British Sign Language, taught by pupils from Llanishen High School’s hearing impairment resource base. One of the children described his hearing loss as “a gift I use to make me stronger”.
This was followed by a lesson in CPR skills, taught by Tŷ Hafan senior nurse Adrian Smith, and a session on children’s rights, taught by Ve Van de Voorde from the Vale of Glamorgan Council.
The groups also had fun grabbing a Snowdog Selfie with five Roaming Snowdogs, each with an important fact for them to find out.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething, who joined the children to learn lifesaving CPR skills and meet the Snowdogs, described the event as “a very interesting day”.
One little boy summed up the day when he was overheard telling his teacher: “Miss! This is the best school trip ever!”
Learning Programme Lead and Tŷ Hafan staff member Hannah Williams said: “The day was such a success and was thoroughly enjoyed by all the children.
“The Snowdogs have been a conduit to bring children and young people together to learn new skills and create opportunities.
“A huge thank you to Urdd Gobaith Cymru, Craft in the Bay and the Cardiff Harbour Authority Environmental Centre for providing venues free of charge for the day in support of Tŷ Hafan.”
The Snowdogs: Tails in Wales public art trail will be available in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan until 26 November. To join the trail, download the Snowdogs App from the Apple Store or Google Play, or pick up a map from a range of outlets across the city.
For more information please follow the campaign on Facebook or Twitter @SnowdogsWales or visit www.snowdogstailsin.wales