Many years ago the team who were fundraising to build a new children’s hospital in Bristol came to Aardman and asked if we might create them a new character to front the fundraising campaign. Nick offered them Wallace and Gromit, and that’s where it all began.
Nick, Pete and Dave have all been involved with ‘The Grand Appeal’ throughout its 20 year evolving life, each offering their different skills to the group of trustees. Staff at Aardman are encouraged to support the annual ‘Wrong Trousers Day’ and many fundraise independently for the charity.
What started as a building project, has evolved into a charity that funds life-saving pioneering, specialist medical equipment to help save the lives of babies and children in the children’s hospital in Bristol alongside creative programmes to enhance a child’s stay in hospital. Alongside this, there is an annual grant-giving day, when children’s hospitals and hospices can apply for funds from the national fundraising.
Find out more about The Grand Appeal
Gromit Unleashed began as a public arts trail in Bristol in 2013, as a collaboration between the Grand Appeal and Aardman Animations, to raise funds to support sick children and babies at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
We set out to capture the imagination of the public by adorning Bristol’s streets with 80 giant Gromit sculptures for 10 weeks, before taking the sculptures to auction to help raise funds.
During the summer of 2018 fans from across the world descended on Bristol for the second Gromit Unleashed trail. Over 60 giant sculptures were displayed across the city, including Wallace and Feathers McGraw sculptures too.
For this trail there were some truly trail-blazing sculptures to seek out, including the interactive ‘Gromitronic’ with its wagging tail and moving eyes, and ‘Gromjet’, a turbo-charged sculpture created engineered by Rolls-Royce and able to lift off the ground! The trail also featured designs by LEGO, Pixar Animation Studios and Illumination (creators of Minions). The trail concluded with an auction raising a fantastic £1.62 million for Bristol Children’s Hospital, bringing the total raised from Gromit Unleashed 2 to an astounding £2 million.