Meet the people behind the Bears of Sheffield!

Graham Congreve, Director at Jump North, talks us through almost 30 years of support for Sheffield Children's Hospital, which has spanned both the Herd of Sheffield and the Bears of Sheffield! Jump North printed the trail map, souvenir guides, posters and postcards to raise awareness of the Bears across Sheffield!

When did your involvement with The Children’s Hospital Charity begin?

“My personal involvement with the Charity began many, many moons ago, I can’t remember exactly when but it must be close to 30 years ago now, through various companies: Production Company, Pro Co, Evolution Print and now Jump North.

“It probably began in the mid 1990s, working alongside friends and designers from a number of local advertising agencies. Among them are Mike and Sean at North Creative Studio, who first became involved with the Charity for the Make it Better appeal around a decade ago.

“It has been fantastic to see their involvement flourish in the time since and in the process devote their considerable creative talents to such a worthy cause.”

What are your memories of supporting the Herd of Sheffield and the Elephant Sculpture Trail in 2016?

“I’ll never forget them - if you can forgive the pun! The trail had a huge impact on the City, bringing loads of good people and real talent together to support a very special common goal, in improving Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

“It was amazing to see the colour, the life, the vibrancy of the artwork adorning the streets but also the respect the public gave them. It was also a pleasure to sponsor an elephant, Rocket’s Peace Elephant on Lady’s Bridge, and continuing the support through with the Bears of Sheffield was simply a no-brainer for me.”

What was it like to see the trail map, souvenir guides, posters and postcards printed by Jump North across the city?

“I can sum this up with a chance encounter I had while out shopping on the Moor, with an American couple who were a bit lost. I hasten to add that they were actually lost, as it was their first time here, but I saw they had a trail map!

“They were so grateful for assistance and suggestions of places to visit. They mentioned the map was really helpful and were even more chuffed when I told them we had printed it! I just couldn’t help myself, I was beaming with pride to have supported the project and see it used.”

What was it like to work with The Children’s Hospital Charity team during the project?

“It is always a delight to work with The Children’s Hospital Charity and supporting Sheffield Children’s Hospital has always been a constant for me. It was also brilliant to see the calibre of artists involved in the trail and the talent we are blessed to have in our community, from people including Jo Peel, Pete McKee and Geo Law.

“The trail was a sight to see, and some of the sculptures took your breath away. My personal favourite was Nano by Roanna Wells.

Were you surprised to see the Bears of Sheffield raise over £1m?

“I was bowled over, but the success was never really in doubt given the great cause it was supporting. Here’s to the next challenge!

“It was wonderful to play a part in bringing people together, to help support a service at Sheffield Children’s Hospital that benefits so many, and at the same time raise awareness of how vital charity donations are to its work.

What do you think the animal should be on the next trail?

“I’ll leave it to the artists and the professionals to come up with the next idea. I just can’t wait to see it.”