If you've visited the hospice recently, you will have noticed two bright green dogs guarding the entrance.
They are Apple and Little Apple - the two newest members of Tŷ Hafan's exciting new campaign, Snowdogs: Tails in Wales. Don't worry - they are very friendly!
This autumn, a pack of Snowdogs will be scampering across the streets, iconic buildings and open spaces of Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan as part of an interactive public art trail for ten weeks, raising much-needed funds for Tŷ Hafan.
Standing at 1.5m tall, each dog sculpture will be decorated by an artist and sponsored by a local business or organisation before joining the trail. Members of the public will be able to follow this magical trail to discover their favourite Snowdogs and enjoy the amazing sights and spaces the region has to offer.
Wild in Art, who have organised similar trails across the UK and the world, contacted us about a year ago and as soon as we heard all about the project we were sold! We spent a long time researching and presenting to our Board of Trustees to ensure it fitted with the charities objectives. All our hard work paid off and last September we finally went live.
The Snowdog sculptures are based on The Snowman and The Snowdog. To be completely honest I had not seen the film before Wild in Art approached us about the campaign, but I was aware of how loved it was by children and families. I watched it for the first time last March and could definitely see the appeal – it’s a lovely gentle story with beautiful animation, but it also deals with some real life issues in an understated way. It fits perfectly with our mission and ethos as a children’s hospice.
Snowdogs: Tails in Wales has energized our Income Generation and Marketing teams; it’s been a great collaborative effort between all the departments. It’s the first project that has sat across all departments at Tŷ Hafan, and has been a real team builder.
These days I carry around a mini Snowdogs figurine called Roodle with me everywhere I go! Yes, I know, I know, I have become very attached to my figurines! On a recent meeting at the WRU, on being asked to give an overview of the project, I simply pulled Roodle out of my coat pocket, much to the amusement of my colleagues. I do have a soft spot for another one called Sparky too - it’s the sparkly ears!
Snowdogs gives us a fantastic opportunity to generate income for the hospice, reach new audiences, engage in partnership working and increase awareness of the hospice’s work for life-limited children and families across Wales. It’s also great to be part of a mass participation event that is already creating a buzz of excitement and anticipation across the region.
There are many ways for people to get involved in Snowdogs: Tails in Wales. If you're linked to a business, organisation or local authority, you can sponsor a Snowdog to give you a presence on the trail. If you're an artist or celebrity, you can decorate a Snowdog to give it a unique identity. And schools or other community groups can join our Learning Programme to design their own Snowdog pups. We've even had our Care and Community teams creating spectacular designs out of paint and glitter, now on display at the hospice.
If you're as excited as we are about Snowdogs: Tails in Wales, we'd love to find a way for you to join in the fun. Everyone is welcome to pop in to our free Open Day event on Thursday 9 March at Cardiff White Water to find out more. We look forward to seeing you there!
For more information you can visit www.snowdogstailsin.wales.