Inclusive Oor Wullie sculpture returns to his beloved Balhousie Care Group

‘Oor Inclusive’, one of Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail’s most popular sculptures at Monday night’s charity auction, will return to live with his sponsors, Balhousie Care Group, after the company’s CEO, Jill Kerr bid for the sculpture. After a nail-biting bidding war, Jill managed to secure Oor Inclusive for £9,000 – one of the top five earning sculptures of the evening.

Oor Inclusive was one of 40 sculptures which were auctioned off at the end of Oor Wullie’s BIG Bucket Trail, the first ever nationwide public art trail which has seen Oor Wullie’s cheeky smile on the streets of towns and cities all over Scotland this summer.

Young and old came together for an inter-generational project with a difference to create Oor Inclusive. Residents from across Balhousie Care Group’s 25 homes joined forces with school children from in and around Dundee, Angus and Perthshire to create a patchwork Oor Wullie inspired by Dundee, the city’s textile heritage and its strong togetherness culture.

Monday’s auction was the first of a series of auctions around the country all to raise money for the ARCHIE Foundation with each of the charity’s hospital regions hosting an auction to raise money for the hospital in their area.

The auction raised £239,000 in total for ARCHIE Tayside which will go toward the charity’s drive to raise £2 million for a new twin operating theatre suite for children at Ninewells Hospital.

Jill Kerr, CEO of Balhousie Care Group, said: “It has been fantastic to be a part of what has been an incredibly popular public art project in Dundee and throughout Scotland. We are delighted to be welcoming Oor Inclusive back to where he was created and to be enjoyed by residents, relatives and staff across our 25 care homes. We’ve got lots of fun activities and visits planned around Oor Inclusive, for the enjoyment of our residents and local communities.”

Dementia Nurse Adviser and current acting care home manager, Emma Roberts came up with the idea for Oor Inclusive and she, along with artist That Girl Gail, aka Gail Melville, led a series of inter-generational creative workshops.

Emma explained: “The concept for the sculpture was to create individual patches to make up the fabric of Oor Wullie’s famous dungarees with people, young and old, contributing to the design. Once all the individual patches had been made and added to Wullie’s dungarees, we had created Oor Inclusive. Demonstrating togetherness, each patch of the dungarees is great on its own, but when we work together the outcome or, in this case, the fabric woven together makes us even stronger.”

The award-winning Balhousie Care Group runs 25 care homes in Scotland and is recognised as a leader in dementia care practices. Balhousie Care was a sponsor of the original Oor Wullie Bucket Trail in 2016. Balhousie Care Group Chairman, Tony Banks, successfully bid for Auld Wullie which depicted what Oor Wullie would look like as an 80-year-old. Auld Wullie is still delighting staff and residents in the care homes and is looking forward to getting up to mischief with his new pal, Oor Inclusive.