Donate now: firefighter raises money for Bristol Children's Hospital with scarecrow competition

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) is raising money for The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity, from July until September and asking local people to get involved by making a scarecrow.

‘The Big Scarecrow Show’ is the brainchild of Bobby Ball, Watch Manager at Radstock Fire Station, who has seen first hand the exceptional work of the doctors, nurses and staff at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. Aged 11, Bobby’s daughter fell seriously ill, and was under the care of the hospital team for five years.

Watching his daughter go from severely ill to thriving once again left Bobby humbled and forever grateful to the amazing care teams at the hospital. He said: “I wanted to do something to give back to those incredible people, and say thank you for all they did for my family. I know that so many other people have been touched by their great work, and I felt compelled to try and raise some money for the hospital's dedicated charity, The Grand Appeal.”

The competition will open on Wallace & Gromit's Wrong Trousers Day - July 1 2022,The Grand Appeal's annual fundraising event, and remain open until October 1 2022. During this time, entrants will need to create a scarecrow using recycled materials, photograph it, and send the image to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Entrants are encouraged to donate a suggested amount of £5 to The Grand Appeal via JustGiving.

Entries will be collated and judged by an esteemed judging panel. Among them will be Bobby Ball’s daughter, a representative from The Grand Appeal and staff from the hospital. The winner will be crowned ‘Best in Show’ and will receive a Gromit Unleashed figurine. The winning entry will also be displayed on the AF&RS website and across social media.

Bobby added: “Your scarecrow could be made of anything recycled, and can be as creative as you like. You could make a tiny matchstick scarecrow, or go big and create a giant. If your creative juices aren’t flowing, feel free to just make a donation via our page instead. Every little helps when you’re trying to make a difference.

“Any donations would be hugely appreciated by me, my family and the wider community of hospital staff, parents and patients. I’ll never be able to thank them enough for what they did, but this might go some way towards it.”

A spokesperson for The Grand Appeal said, "Our fundraising family continually surprises us with their inventive ideas, and it’s not often we see something like ‘The Big Scarecrow Show’! We’re delighted to have the support of Avon Fire & Rescue Service, which already does such amazing work here in Bristol.

"With the help of fantastic fundraisers like Bobby Ball and the Avon Fire & Rescue Service team, we can continue to fund much-needed services that support the doctors and nurses and bring joy and light relief to children at Bristol Children’s Hospital."

How to enter

To submit your entry, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with an image of your scarecrow.

To donate, please visit the JustGiving page,



The competition will run from today (July 1 2022) to September 1 2022. Winners will be notified by 15 September. Prize is non-transferrable. 

Privacy Notice

Avon Fire Authority (operationally known as Avon Fire & Rescue Service ‘AF&RS’) is committed to complying with the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK-GDPR), and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), when processing your personal data.

By 'personal information' we mean data that is unique to you, such as a name, address, telephone number, email address and even online identifiers (IP address). We will comply with the processing principles of the Data Protection legislation when handling your personal information and keeping it secure.

This competition requires you to provide your name and email address to us.  Your entry to this competition is on a voluntary basis and you are therefore providing us with your consent to collect and hold your name, email address and any other personal details you voluntarily disclose to us as part of your application to enter.

AF&RS will retain your personal details for the duration of the competition so that we can contact the successful winner. Once the competition has finished, we will delete your details.  There is no intention to share your email address with other organisations, however, if the need arises, we will only do this with your consent unless the law permits us.

Should you wish to find out more about how we process personal data in general as part of providing our Fire Service and how you can exercise your data rights, please visit our privacy notice on our website and also your data protection rights