Elmer’s Herd is growing

Schools and youth groups are being invited to get a free young Elmer sculpture and join Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, coming to Ipswich next summer. The campaign, run by St Elizabeth Hospice, will see fifty large Elmer sculptures displayed around Ipswich town centre and waterfront, with 100 ‘young Elmers’ joining the parade too, all in celebration of Elmer and the hospice’s 30th birthdays.

Elephants are well known for living in family groups and looking after for each other, nurturing their babies and even taking turns to ‘calf-sit’ for each other, so Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk will follow this lead – with each young Elmer being ‘adopted’ by schools, youth groups and other organisations in the local area.

By pledging to raise £750 over a period of approximately 12 months, participating groups will receive a free young Elmer sculpture to design, decorate, display on the trail, and then keep for themselves.

Lizzy Tuthill, Youth Fundraising Officer for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are really proud that 66 out of our 100 young Elmers have already been adopted. It is fantastic to be able to involve schools and youth groups in our parade in this way, as we know that the sponsorships of the bigger sculptures can sometimes feel out of reach to non-corporate groups and this enables lots more people – and young people in particular – to get involved. It is such a fun campaign to be involved with and will help us share some really important messages about inclusivity and diversity with young people in Suffolk.”

The Learning Programme is integrated with Key Stage 1 and 2 and contains a resource booklet including classroom guides, lesson plans, fundraising support and health and well-being suggestions.

The campaign is once again being run in conjunction with public art event specialists, Wild in Art, as well as new partner, children’s publisher Andersen Press, which has published Elmer since 1989. Elmer the colourful patchwork elephant has been a nursery favourite since the first book was published with its important but subtle inclusive messaging; that it is ‘OK to be different’.

Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for the hospice, said: “We know that art trails such as Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk are real ‘family favourites’ and Elmer is obviously a well-loved children’s book character, so having the Learning Programme element of the campaign is really important to us. We are so pleased that so many schools, youth groups and organisations have already pledged to be involved and we are looking forward to meeting other potential supporters when we are out and about at events and festivals over the summer months.”

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk comes to Ipswich from June to September 2019. It follows the successful ‘Pigs Gone Wild’ art trail in 2016, which attracted around 250,000 visitors to Ipswich and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1 million. It raised £200,000 for the hospice – enough to fund one week’s care – and is a highlight of the hospice’s busy fundraising calendar.

Anyone who is interested in finding out more about the Learning Programme and adopting a young Elmer should contact Lizzy directly:
Lizzy Tuthill, Youth Fundraising Officer:
01473 707935 / 07841 764544

For more information about the campaign, and more details of Elmer’s summer outings, when confirmed, visit www.elmersbigparadesuffolk.co.uk