When staff at The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield found that a set of 1970s toys, used for decades to test hearing in children, had become damaged and unfit for purpose, they thought they could easily replace them with a new set.

The characters are used in hearing tests, where children move them in and out of their rowing boat to register sounds.

However the maker, Escor Toys, had gone out of business in 2012, so Cat Powell, manager of Artfelt - The Children’s Hospital Charity’s arts programme - set about restoring the mini figures to bring them back into use.

Powell sourced artists from across the UK to get involved in the project, which involved painting a selection of the 250 figures - depicting everything from superheroes and animals to women from around the world, as well as characters from popular culture.

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