Schools, Community Groups and Care Homes can now be part of ‘Shaun in the Heart of Kent’ Art Trail

Categories: Community Engagement.

Following the success of the award-winning Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, Heart of Kent Hospice is launching ‘Shaun in the Heart of Kent Learning & Community Programme.’ 

Schools, community groups and care homes can now sign up to join the programme which will see their own individually decorated little ‘Shaun the Sheep’ become part of an amazing new art trail planned for the summer of 2024.

‘Shaun the Sheep in the Heart of Kent’ will be in partnership with Wild in Art, Aardman and Presenting Partner, Maidstone Borough Council.

The free art trail will take place in Maidstone and the surrounding areas and will feature up to 50 individually designed Shaun sculptures, accompanied by a flock of little Shauns.

The large sculptures will be designed and painted by local and national artists and will be auctioned at the end of the trail to raise money for Heart of Kent Hospice, while the little Shaun sculptures will be adopted, designed and decorated by schools, community groups and care homes.

‘Shaun in the Heart of Kent Learning & Community Programme’ is all about inspiring, stimulating creativity and encouraging minds to be curious and unleash imagination, as well as creating opportunities for engagement to build confidence and improve artistic skills for everyone involved.

The programme also offers a range of opportunities and activities to tackle loneliness and isolation. It encourages participants to connect, engage, be active and keep learning.

Every school, community group or care home that joins the flock will be given a little blank Shaun sculpture to decorate and a resource pack full of hints and tips on how to design and decorate your sculpture, as well as activity guides and plans to deliver appropriate art and creative sessions along with suggested resources.

The cost to adopt a little Shaun is £750.  Little Shaun is a smaller version of the main trail sculpture and stands at 67cm high. You can fundraise or donate the full amount to cover the cost of your little Shaun sculpture and help us, your local Hospice, to be there for those that need our care.

The total income raised from ‘Shaun in the Heart of Kent’ art trail will help the Hospice to continue supporting nearly 1,000 patients annually in Maidstone, Aylesford, Tonbridge and Malling and surrounding areas.

This ‘ewe-nique’ creative art trail will take place throughout the summer and your beautifully decorated little Shaun will join the rest of the flock to be displayed in the local area for everyone to admire and enjoy, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in our community.

Becoming part of this amazing art trail is the perfect way to support the work of the Hospice. Since the Hospice opened in 1991, more than 60,000 people, including patients and their families, have benefitted from outstanding compassionate care.   Patients and the people closest to them receive specialist care, so they can live in comfort with independence and dignity, whether in the Hospice, in their own homes, or the local community.

Karen Newton-Anker, Community Partnerships Manager at Heart of Kent Hospice said: “We chose Shaun, as the character brings fun and colour to every situation, he is the leader of the flock and the hero of the show. He is smart, and resourceful, as well as being mischievous and his lively personality marks him out from the rest of the flock.”

Your little Shaun sculpture is the perfect blank canvas for you to be able to create a unique piece of art. Shaun will be ready for you to decorate.

Karen continues: “At the end of the trail, there will be a Farewell Weekend which sees all the Shaun sculptures come together in one place for three days. Everyone is invited to come along, to see the flock for one last time and say goodbye.

“Once your little Shaun has dazzled the crowds on the trail, we’ll return him to you to keep forever!”

To find out more

To join the flock or to chat about the programme in more detail, please email or call 01622 790195.


As well as your own little Shaun, you’ll receive the following as part of your package: 

  • Shaun the Sheep adoption certificate
  • A digital Learning & Community Programme resource pack, to guide you through the project
  • Your school, community group and care home name on your sculpture signage and trail website
  • A Shaun reveal visit by a member of the Shaun in the Heart of Kent team, where you will find out more exciting news about the trail and the Learning and Community Programme
  • Inclusion in the event’s trail map, website and app
  • Your sculpture displayed at the Farewell Weekend

What happens when?

  • April 2023 – Learning & Community Programme official launch.
  • October 2023 – Art inspiration event. This is when we invite you, our Learning & Community Programme artists, to come along, and we share tips, information, and places to search for artistic inspiration. We hope this will help with your creativity and translate your inspiration into your ewe-nique design.
  • October 2023 – Time to get creative and decorate your Shaun!
  • March 2024 – Your finished decorated Shaun the Sheep sculpture is to be returned to the trail flock.
  • June 2024 – Shaun in the Heart of Kent trail goes live
  • September 2024 – Farewell Weekend
  • October 2024 – All little Shaun sculptures are returned to their forever home


About Heart of Kent Hospice

Heart of Kent Hospice has been providing free, compassionate, end-of-life care to people living with a terminal illness and their loved ones in Maidstone, Aylesford, Tonbridge and Malling and the surrounding towns and villages for the past 31 years.

The Hospice has built an excellent reputation within the local community for the quality of its care, which has been further endorsed by the Care Quality Commission who awarded us with an overall rating of ‘Outstanding’ following an inspection in February 2017.

Our vision is for everyone living with a terminal illness in our community to achieve the best quality of life. We are committed to achieving this by enabling them to live in comfort, with independence and dignity to the end of their lives, and to support those closest to them.

Last year the Hospice cared for over 1,800 patients and their families in their own homes or at our Aylesford-based Hospice. Our services cost £5 million a year to run, and we depend heavily on our loyal community of supporters, whose generous donations and fundraising activities raise over £4 million.

About Wild in Art

 Wild in Art is the leading producer of spectacular public art events that entertain, enrich, inform, and leave a lasting legacy. It brings together businesses and creative sectors with schools and local communities through the creation of uniquely painted sculptures.

Since 2008 Wild in Art has animated cities across the world including Manchester, Sydney, Auckland, Cape Town, and São Paulo, and created trails for the London 2012 Olympics, the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Historic Royal Palaces and Penguin Random House.

Wild in Art events have:

  • Enabled over £22m to be raised for charitable causes
  • Injected £3.8m into local creative communities
  • Engaged over a million young people in learning programmes
  • Helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings
  • The Wild in Art apps are available to download from the App Store and Google Play

About Aardman

Aardman is an employee-owned company, based in Bristol (UK) and co-founded in 1976 by Peter Lord and David Sproxton. An independent, multi-Academy Award® and BAFTA® award winning studio, it produces feature films, series, advertising, games and interactive entertainment. Current animated productions include the feature length sequel Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget and a brand new Wallace & Gromit film for 2024.

Its productions are global in appeal, novel, entertaining, brilliantly characterised and full of charm reflecting the unique talent, energy and personal commitment of the Aardman team. The studio’s work – which includes the creation of much-loved characters including Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, Timmy Time and Morph – is often imitated, and yet the company continues to lead the field producing a rare brand of visually stunning content for cinema, broadcasters, digital platforms and live experiences around the world. Recent celebrated projects include the Academy Award® and BAFTA® nominated short film Robin Robin, International Emmy® award winning Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas, BAFTA® nominated preschool series The Very Small Creatures and the brand new CGI comedy series for kids Lloyd of the Flies. The studio runs the Aardman Academy which has a commitment to nurturing talent by delivering excellence in film and animation training and mentoring. The Aardman Academy offers a variety of courses from intensive one-day workshops teaching production skills and storyboarding, to comprehensive twelve-week courses for professionals in craft based subjects from model making to animation.

In November 2018 it became an Employee Owned Organisation, to ensure Aardman remains independent and to secure the creative legacy and culture of the company for many decades to come.

About Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep, Aardman’s family favourite TV series, is recognised the world over for its slapstick humour, distinctive look and strong, quirky characters and enjoyed across multiple media platforms.

First appearing in Nick Park’s 1995 Academy Award® winning Wallace & Gromit ‘A Close Shave’, Shaun then went on to star in his own series, created by Richard Starzak which launched on BBC One in 2007.

Shaun the Sheep is currently broadcast in 170 territories around the world and is an internationally celebrated icon with over 5.6 million fans on Facebook. In 2015 the first Shaun the Sheep Movie with feature film partner Studiocanal was released around the world to critical acclaim and the first half hour TV special aired as part of many broadcaster’s festive season., The feature film sequel Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon was released in October 2019 and nominated for an Academy Award® and was closely followed by a sixth season of the series in 2020. A new festive special Shaun the Sheep: The Flight Before Christmas was released in December 2021.

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