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Rainbows gets its own 'Big Bug' from intu Victoria Centre

Youngsters at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People have seen their creativity come to life in the form of a giant bug, commemorating the end of Big Bugs on Tour at Nottingham’s intu Victoria Centre.

As part of the month-long event, which featured 11 supersized bug sculptures taking up residence at the centre, children from the Loughborough-based charity were invited to team up to design their own colourful bugs, which were hung from a special tree as part of the trail.

The winning drawing of a multi-coloured butterfly was then transformed into a real-life model by a specialist artist and presented to the hospice.

Matthew Winn, organisational giving fundraiser at Rainbows, which is 2019’s charity of the year for both intu Victoria Centre and intu Broadmarsh, said:

“The children loved getting involved, learning about the great outdoors and being creative. They were excited to know that thousands of shoppers in Nottingham were looking at their drawings and were even more thrilled to receive this great model.

“It will take pride of place at the hospice.”

Big Bugs on Tour, which formed part of a national tour across 13 intu centres around the UK, ran throughout June at intu Victoria Centre and was designed to reconnect families in the East Midlands to nature. The 11 indigenous bugs formed a trail around the centre and included a giant honeybee, ladybird, hornet, butterfly and nut weevil.

Over the course of the month over 1,000 children were awarded a certificate for completing the bug trail, while the centre’s retailer Tiger sold 625 bug hotels, designed to encourage more wildlife into gardens. The RSPB also visited the centre to showcase how people can look after wildlife around their own homes.

Each sculpture featured a special phone number that allowed shoppers to engage with each bug by texting them to receive fun bug facts in response. Almost 2,000 text messages were sent, with the butterfly proving the most popular bug to chat to in Nottingham.

Commenting on the success of Big Bugs on Tour, Nigel Wheatley, general manager of intu Victoria Centre, said:

“Our customers absolutely loved getting up close to the giant bugs, having their pictures taken with them and learning lots of interesting facts. You don’t always expect to come face-to-face with a supersized grasshopper while out shopping!

“The tour proved really popular with our customers - it was great to see so many families visit the centre from across the region, seeing them spotting bugs and having fun together no matter what age. Judging by the number of bug hotels that Tiger sold, creepy crawlies across Nottingham will be enjoying a bit of extra comfort this summer too.

“We’d like to thank everyone who took part, including the RSPB and the children at Rainbows.”

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