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Martlets calls on the community to Save our Trail

Rallying cry to local people to stop the damage and allow the joy to continue as vandalism puts art trail at risk.

Martlets, the local hospice charity which has brought Shaun by the Sea to the streets of Brighton & Hove is calling on residents and visitors to the city to help save the trail.

After a week of unprecedented damage to sculptures, the work of the trail – to raise vital money for hospice care – is under serious threat. Each sculpture that is damaged can cost the charity up to £7,500 and the risk is that some sculptures may not be able to be sold at auction at the end of November – where over £250,000 is hoped to be raised.

Every damaged Shaun the Sheep is directly taking funding away from providing care and support for families facing dying, death and bereavement. Martlets wants to be there for everyone living through the difficulties of a terminal illness, but without £7m a year in charitable income, this is not possible.

Tanya Hunt, director of income generation at Martlets says, “We know the sheep look so tempting to sit or jump up on, but they’re not toys – they’re works of art to be auctioned with an essential fundraising role in keeping Martlets caring.

“After the difficulties our city faced through COVID lockdowns we wanted to reconnect people to our work with a moment of joy. We’ve worked so hard along with our artists and sponsors to bring this trail to life, and with thousands of apps downloaded and maps handed out, we know so many are enjoying it. We want people to make memories that matter, but stop and think before clambering on a sculpture for a photo or to impress your mates after a night out.

Spreading the word

“We are urging everyone in our community to spread the word of the need for our work, keep the Shauns safe and keep Martlets caring. Please don’t climb on them, don’t sit on them, don’t graffiti them. Instead, please donate to help us keep the trail live till 5 November for all to enjoy.

“Every donation, no matter its size, has a direct impact on people who have been diagnosed with a terminal illness. It will mean that as people face their final days they can live with dignity and compassion, receiving specialist end-of-life care that Martlets delivers.”

A group of trail artists have issued the following, “A single sheep can take well over one hundred hours to paint. We were excited to see our work go out on the streets and our hope was that they would be enjoyed by the visitors and residents in Brighton & Hove. We are proud to have played our part in hopefully raising much-needed funds to ensure the vital work of Martlets continues.

“However, we have also been deeply saddened and upset by the way that a few people have treated our work. Several of the sculptures have been deliberately damaged and some will take considerable expense and more of our time to repair them so that they are able to be auctioned.”

Text SHEEP to 70460 to give £3 or visit the link below to donate.

Click here for more information.

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