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Find ‘Sparky’ the NSBRC’s Swindog at the Centre!

Our tails were wagging over the summer as we supported the Big Dog Art Trail in Swindon. The Trail concluded with the thrill of a grand auction, and we were determined to bring our Swindog, 'Sparky', home. We were delighted that we were able to make a significant bid to, not only secure Sparky’s return to the NSBRC, but also provide a financial boost to such a deserving charity.

Over 23,000 people went walkies along the pioneering balloon dog trail, as these amazing sculptures brought a burst of colour to our home town.

Helping to raise vital funds to care for local seriously ill children and their families, we joined several local and national businesses, as one of the trail sponsors, in support of Julia’s House, the Wiltshire’s children’s hospice charity. 30 super-sized balloon dogs (or ‘Swindogs’) and 42 super-cute ‘Swinpups’, designed by professional artists, schools and community groups, created a free and accessible trail through some of Swindon’s best-loved landmarks, parks and public spaces from 15th July to the 3rd September.

Our sculpture ‘Sparky’ was designed by Alice Irvine, a third-year BA Illustration student at Swindon’s New College. The colour gradient is based on energy efficiency charts, moving from reds representing less energy efficient buildings, to greens representing more energy efficient ones. The pattern of the houses and buildings drawn over the top of the design represents the journey to make homes more energy efficient. We used Sparky to help spread awareness of practical and affordable options to reduce energy bills for residents of Swindon with every visitor to the dog receiving a free ‘energy efficient home guide’.

It has been a delight to be a small part of the world’s first balloon dog sculpture art trail!

When we heard there was an opportunity to be involved, and to support our local community as well as the fabulous team at Julia’s House, we had to sign up! Many of our team have enjoyed discovering the amazing array of beautifully painted dogs with their families over the summer and we all fell in love with our dog.

It has been a pleasure to be involved in this wonderful event and Sparky will no doubt be the star of many a selfie at the NSBRC!

You can find out more about the wonderful work of Julia’s House at: juliashouse.org

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