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Mother of cancer victim names Elmer elephant ‘Elizabeth’ in tribute to hospice

PUBLISHED: 16:30 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 16:46 28 October 2020

Ceri Pilcher lost daughter Katie in 2012 and put forward the winning name Elizabeth as a tribute to the hospice which cared for her. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Ceri Pilcher lost daughter Katie in 2012 and put forward the winning name Elizabeth as a tribute to the hospice which cared for her. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

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The latest addition to Ipswich’s much-loved herd of Elmer elephants is on display at Christchurch Mansion for half-term, after being named in a competition.

Ceri Pilcher with her daughter Katie who passed away in December 2012 after a battle with metastatic stomach cancer, aged 27. Picture: PILCHER FAMILYCeri Pilcher with her daughter Katie who passed away in December 2012 after a battle with metastatic stomach cancer, aged 27. Picture: PILCHER FAMILY

The new Elmer was named after the St Elizabeth Hospice by a mother who’s daughter was cared for by the hospice in the last moments of her life.

Ceri Pilcher lost her daughter Katie at 27 years old to metastatic stomach cancer and put forward the idea of naming the elephant Elizabeth in tribute to the hospice’s work.

She said: “I’m thrilled to have chosen the winning name for the hospice elephant.

“I entered the competition to give my support to the hospice, whose fundraising and vital donations have been hit by the ongoing pandemic.

Ceri Pilcher lost daughter Katie in 2012 and put forward the winning name Elizabeth as a tribute to the hospice which cared for her. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICECeri Pilcher lost daughter Katie in 2012 and put forward the winning name Elizabeth as a tribute to the hospice which cared for her. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

“The hospice supported our family when Katie sadly died in 2012.

“She was cared for both in the community and the inpatient unit with kindness, compassion and professionalism.”

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Staff who chose the name, felt it encompassed the many elements of the hospice which are reflected in the design.

The new addition to the Elmer herd has been named Elizabeth and is going on display in Christchurch Park over half-term before being moved to the hospice garden for good. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICEThe new addition to the Elmer herd has been named Elizabeth and is going on display in Christchurch Park over half-term before being moved to the hospice garden for good. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Nurse Sarah Edwards from the hospice’s inpatient unit was picked to design and decorate the Elmer – depicting the many services and elements of the charity and the support it provides the local community.

The featured artworks include the hospice’s young adult service Zest, 24-hour phone support line OneCall, and Covid-19 fundraising campaign #HereTogether.

The ornate design was varnished by Suffolk New College automotive repair and finishing team free of charge.

Elizabeth will be taking up permanent residence in the garden at the hospice – but not before going on display for all to enjoy in Christchurch Park over half-term.

Installed on Monday, October 26, by Ipswich Borough Council, she is there until November 1 when she will be moved back to the hospice for good.

From Artiphant and Bee Kind to Elefont and Tigelephant, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk art trail brought trunk loads of colour to Ipswich – brightening up the lives of many while helping to raise funds in the summer of 2019.

Many of the sculptures were then auctioned off after the summer trail, with the proceeds raising much needed funds for the St Elizabeth Hospice.


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