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UK Tour 2017

With grateful thanks to our amazing team UK for the months of planning, the weeks of exhaustion and the days of fun and gratitude meeting new and old friends during our UK annual tour last month. Once again our UK office rose to the occasion and pulled the most fantastic series of events out of the bag, including an Art Tour and Abseil Day!

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Championed by our friends and inspirational artists, Richard Symonds, Suzie Marsh, Maria Slough and Andrew Telling who used their indescribable talent of drawing, sculpture, photography and film to showcase our beautiful bears, their art was breathtaking and added a totally new dynamic to our events, where our ursine ambassadors were well and truly brought to life at each venue.

artoverview

Suzie Marsh

My endless thanks to support groups and volunteers in each location of Manchester, Bristol, London and Glasgow who helped our team so enthusiastically and tirelessly without complaint on those hot summer days, and to all who turned out to catch up on our programmes and campaigns in China and Vietnam. The time went by in a flash but the smiles remain in a warm haze of remembering how wonderful it was to see everyone again, and to reinforce how passionately the bears, dogs, cats, and captive animals are helped and carried in hearts.

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Thank you especially to Jo, Sarah, Gayle and Iain who ran themselves ragged on the events themselves – the driving, set up and dismantling at each event saw a completely frazzled team who never failed to pull out wide smiles and welcomes at all the events. Gratitude too, to all in our UK office who worked frantically behind the scenes ensuring that tickets were sold and each event ran smoothly.

artists

Andrew Telling

To all friends who came along on the days and offered such encouragement and generosity for the work here in Asia, your kindness knows no bounds, ensuring that we can throw ourselves into securing sanctuary for bears, and freedom from cages for all animals, purely because of the support of you all.

Peter_Jill

Finally, to our plucky group of abseilers – headed up by our UK Ambassador Peter Egan – who all crawled out of comfort zones to take that giant leap of courage for the bears. What an amazing few minutes, dangling 100 metres high and wondering what the hell we were doing as we began the daunting descent from the top of The Spinnaker Tower in Portsmouth.

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It has to be said that there were some pretty "square" smiles of terror from us all at the top but, once down, the somewhat hysterical woo hoos and smiles of relief said it all.

ABSEIL4  ABSEIL 5 

Thank you to all who came along and supported the crazy – and to Peter, Maria, Vicki, Roger, Maren, Tanith, Jo, Tessa, Karen, Ruth, Anna – for overcoming your doubts and fears and for so uniquely and madly helping our very beautiful bears in their journey from farms to freedom…

ABSEIL 5  ABSEIL 5 

With another fond farewell to our family UK…we love you and can't thank you enough for helping these vital projects and deserving animal friends thousands of miles away. Until next time, with gratitude, bear hugs and blessings. 

For lots more photos please go to our Flickr album.

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