Prime Minister’s Maggie’s penguin parade backing

© PAPrime Minister Theresa May.
Prime Minister Theresa May.

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced her support for the Maggie’s Penguin Parade.

Mrs May retweeted a picture of Angus MP Kirstene Hair beside a penguin in Brechin and gave the charity drive her backing and urged people to support the cause.

Mrs May’s tweet.

A colony of 80 colourful giant penguin sculptures can be found across the city of Dundee and also as far afield as Kirriemuir, Brechin, Perth and St Andrews.

Artists and designers from across Tayside have transformed original models designed by Duncan of Jordanstone lecturer Janice Aitken for the summer project.

The statues are proving very popular with locals and visitors alike, and will be auctioned off in September to raise funds for Maggie’s Dundee which provides free practical, social and emotional support for people with cancer and their families and friends.

The PM’s message said: “@Kirstene4Angus is a passionate advocate for @maggiespenguins – who provide free practical and emotional support to people with cancer. Do support them if you can!”

Ms Hair welcomed the Prime Minister’s public backing for the Maggie’s parade.

She said: “I am delighted that the Prime Minister has lent her support to the fantastic Maggie’s Penguin Parade.

“These sculptures have proven extremely popular with everybody around Tayside – visitors and locals alike.

“This is a very worthwhile cause.

“The service provided by Maggie’s Centre at Ninewells is truly invaluable for cancer patients and their families and friends.

“I am sure that organisers will appreciate the extra exposure and the endorsement from Downing Street.”

Mrs May’s tweet did prompt a backlash from furious critics of her Conservative government, with some using it as an opportunity to attack her policies.

The Dundee Maggie’s facility is built in the grounds of Ninewells Hospital, and was designed by Frank Gehry.

It costs £540,000 a year to run.

The project – which aims to raise vital funds for Maggie’s Dundee – challenges people to find all 80 giant penguin sculptures dotted throughout Dundee, Angus, Perthshire and Fife.

From golfers to comic book characters, each flamboyant five-foot avian attraction showcases a one-off design inspired by everything from the history of Dundee to climate change concerns.

The trail is proving to be fabulous fun, with penguin fans taking selfies alongside the models and ticking off their favourites as they go.

As Maggie’s Dundee relies almost entirely on voluntary donations, funds raised by the auction of the penguins in September will be gratefully received.