Kent Reliance joins Shaun the Sheep Trail for Heart of Kent Hospice
28 Jun 2024


Local savings bank, Kent Reliance, has joined the flock to become one of the sponsors for ‘Shaun the Sheep in the Heart of Kent’ art trail with its ‘Hope in the darkness’ Shaun design. The trail in Maidstone has been created by Wild in Art with funds raised going to Heart of Kent Hospice to support care for local people living with terminal illness.

Each sculpture has been designed and painted by local and national artists, and they’ll be accompanied by a flock of little Shaun’s decorated by local schools and community groups.

Kent Reliance has sponsored the creation of one of the large sculptures, ‘Hope in the darkness’, with Kent Reliance employee and local designer, Lauren Jackson, responsible for its design and creation. Lauren competed against tough, local competition but her design stood out from the crowd with Aardman, the creators of Wallace and Gromit, selecting her design to be part of the trail.

Kent Reliance has also donated towards one of the smaller Shaun sculptures which has been decorated by children at the Demelza Children’s Hospice as part of their longstanding partnership. Demelza’s ‘Dotty’ will be on display in the Kent Reliance branch in Maidstone during the trail before going to her permanent home at one of Demelza’s hospices.

Kent Reliance is committed to the local communities in which it operates, providing funding, volunteers and much more. During the trail, participants that spot ‘Hope in darkness’ on the trail, can get one of five hundred free packets of wildflower seeds from the Maidstone branch plus free entry into a competition to win one of Lauren’s exclusive pieces of artwork at the end of the trail.

At the end of the trail there will also be a chance for people to help the Hospice raise funds by bidding on their favourite Shaun Sculpture at an auction taking place on 26th September.

Lauren Jackson, Graphic Designer, Kent Reliance said “I have always admired all the wonderful care provided by Heart of Kent of Hospice and know how vital this care and support is to the Maidstone community.

I’ve previously taken part in different fundraising events for the Hospice and my Shaun sculpture was inspired by the Hospice’s annual Moonlit Walk fundraising event, where those who take part dress up in vibrant neon colours with glow sticks and walk a local route at nighttime. It really brightens up the local streets, where everyone who walks, walks in hope of making a difference.”

Erica Snow, Project Manager, Heart of Kent Hospice said: “We are delighted that Kent Reliance are sponsoring one of our large Shaun sculptures. We are looking forward to the 29th June when the free art trail goes live and everyone can discover all 51 of the brightly coloured individually designed Shauns which will be located all around Maidstone Town Centre. There will be an app available to download with a map to make it easy to follow the trail and collect your rewards along the way. The trail can be available to enjoy throughout the summer until 30th August.”