Black Cat players get their claws into Snowdogs arts trail

SAFC Ladies with the wildlife-themed Great North Snowdog.
SAFC Ladies with the wildlife-themed Great North Snowdog.
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Black Cat players have been learning more about an invaluable North East charity set to benefit from a major arts initiative.

SAFC Ladies took a break from training to meet poorly youngsters at St Oswald’s Hospice in Newcastle, which will benefit from the Great North Snowdogs arts trail.

The trail, inspired by Raymond Briggs’ story of The Snowman and The Snowdog, will see a host of individually-decorated giant snowdog sculptures pop up around the North East from September 19.

SAFC is one of more than 40 businesses and organisations backing Great North Snowdogs, which will raise funds for the hospice that provides short breaks for children and young adults with progressive, life-shortening conditions.

Tori Williams, vice-captain of the team, which is currently in its second season in the top division FA Women’s Super League One, said “This is the first time that we have visited a hospice and it was a very humbling experience.

“The children were all very positive and it was a great pleasure for us to be able to go along and visit.”

During their visit, SAFC Ladies also got the chance to meet one of the 59 1.5m high Snowdogs taking part in the trail.

Designed by illustrations artist, Jina Gelder, it has a wildlife theme to represent the wildlife garden the children are currently creating at the hospice.

Diane Nicholson, team leader and nurse at St Oswald’s Hospice, said: “Having players from Sunderland AFC’s ladies team made the children and young adults’ afternoon.

“It was lovely to see the players greeting and interacting with the children. We are truly grateful to them for taking the time out of their busy schedule to come along to meet some of their young fans.”

The main Snowdog trail will follow the route of the Tyne and Wear Metro and will be accompanied by a complementary trail of 97 mini Snowdogs, decorated by school children and community groups from the area.

Once the trail closes to the public in November, the large Snowdogs will be auctioned to raise funds for the hospice’s children’s service.