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Southampton Hosptials Charity

Launch of lighthouse art trail

Date published: 29 September 2023

Southampton Hospitals Charity has officially announced the launch of Light the South art trail. The public art event will take place in summer 2024 and raise money for Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Light the South will see Southampton Hospitals Charity, the charity of University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust team up with art trail experts Wild in Art who has previously hosted trails in cities across the UK and worldwide for a decade.


Each of the 40 Lighthouse sculptures will stand at 8ft tall on the streets and open spaces of Southampton and Cowes for eight weeks. Each is a unique masterpiece, sponsored by different businesses and designed by artists both local and well renowned, creating a family-friendly trail of discovery and adventure for visitors and residents to enjoy and explore.

Ellis Banfield, Southampton Hospitals Charity Director, said:

“We’re thrilled to bring a spectacular art installation to Southampton and Cowes in 2024. Light the South will weave together the best culture, heritage, and diversity the South has to offer, and we hope our community is as excited as we are that this public event will be coming to Southampton and Cowes. As well as creating a brilliant adventure for families, Light the South will help Southampton Hospitals Charity to shine a light on, and raise vital funds for, our Children’s Hospital.”

The sculptures will be auctioned off to raise money for Southampton Hospitals Charity to support Southampton Children’s Hospital in September 2024.

Southampton and Cowes businesses are now being invited to come on board and show their support for this positive community event through a range of different sponsorship packages. The Southampton-based cross Solent ferry operator and travel and leisure company, Red Funnel, was the first company to become one of two presenting partners for the trail.

Red Funnel CEO, Fran Collins, said,

“Red Funnel is immensely proud to be sponsoring the Light the South art trail to support Southampton Hospitals Charity. It is extremely important to us that we make a meaningful and positive difference in our local community, and I’m delighted that money raised will support Southampton Children’s Hospital.

Not only does the hospital treat and care for children from both the communities we serve in Southampton and the Isle of Wight, but also the families of our 460 employees.


For me personally, I think Light the South is going to be a fantastic way of supporting employee engagement and give us a different way to communicate and engage with our customers and stakeholders and I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for Red Funnel and our partnership with Southampton Hospitals Charity.”

As part of the Art Trail, businesses and individuals will be given a unique opportunity to sponsor a Lighthouse sculpture. Williams Shipping are proud to come on board as the official Logistics Partner for the Light the South art trail.

Victoria Williams, Careers, Charities & Events at Williams Shipping commented,

“As a family business based in Southampton for nearly 130 years, we are delighted to be supporting our local hospital by partnering with Southampton Hospitals Charity. We take great pride in our corporate social responsibility to ensure we can give back to the communities we serve.


We look forward to using our transporting and logistics expertise to ensure that the 40 x 8ft Lighthouse sculptures are safely stored, transported, and installed onto the trail across Southampton and Cowes next summer. We are excited to see it come to life and watch the trail capture the imagination of residents and visitors alike!”

Schools will also be able to get involved in a whole range of creative learning activities and they’ll even be given the chance to design and adopt their very own mini Lighthouse sculpture. Southampton City Council (SCC) Inclusion Officer, Elliot Nolan said,

“SCC are delighted to be supporting Southampton Hospitals Charity on their Light the South art trail. We know art has the power to shape and change lives and that is why we are proud to be involved in the Learning Programme, helping to engage as many schools and youth groups from across Southampton as we can. We are really looking forward to next summer when 30 mini lighthouse sculptures stand proud across the trail, each one with a unique story to tell and all of which would have helped to empower and nurture confidence, creativity, and skill for our young people.”

If you’re an artist, represent a business, school, college, or local community group and want to be involved, or are interested in finding out more, please contact the charity at

Trail Artists Sponsors Contact