LANDMARKS across the Portsmouth area are set to be invaded by an army of stuffed toys this year as a charity launches a new competition to mark its 30th birthday celebration.
The Roberts Centre, based in Crasswell Street, Landport, is this week kicking its Where’s The Bear monthly challenge.
The competition, backed by The News and the Spinnaker Tower, is open to all ages from people right the way across the Portsmouth area.
Residents are being urged to dig out their favourite teddies and snap a creative picture of their treasured toys at spots across Portsmouth, Gosport, Havant, Fareham and Waterlooville areas, for a chance to win a free family pass to Spinnaker Tower.
The idea is the brainchild of Carole Damper, the charity’s chief executive and is inspired by the centre’s own mascot, Robert the Bear.
‘The more creative the better,’ said the centre’s chief executive Carole Damper.
‘What we’re looking for is for people to take pictures of their bears in curious locations somewhere in The News’ distribution area.
‘It needs to be in The News’ area and not on Ayers Rock or on the Empire State building.
‘I was thinking of the bear looking out of the port holes on HMS Victory, or on the beach looking out to sea – something like that.’
People have until the end of February to submit their entries when a winner will then be decided.
The competition is part of a year-long celebration for the centre, which helps hundreds of needy families and homeless people across the area.
On Sunday, February 19, the charity is holding a special service at Portsmouth Cathedral, in High Street, Old Portsmouth from 3pm to celebrate the various people who have supported it during its 30-year history.
Later on in the year, Robert the Bear will be hosting a teddy bear’s picnic for families at to celebrate the centre’s birthday on Sunday, June 11, at the city museum gardens in Museum Road, Old Portsmouth.
And, if that isn’t enough, the Roberts Centre has also been named as the official charity partner of the world-renowned Goodwood Festival of Speed 2017 – a link which is hoped will raise thousands of pounds for the organisation and boost its profile.
Carole said it was important to get the whole city behind them to celebrate the Roberts Centre’s milestone.
She said: ‘It will just be lovely for people to get involved and to be part of our celebrations this year.’
To submit your Where’s the Bear entry, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or for details call (023) 9229 6919.