Businesses back Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk in aid of St Elizabeth Hospice

Representatives of Elmer�s Big Parade Suffolk, the Early Bird Herd, pictured with Ipswich Blue, from

Representatives of Elmer�s Big Parade Suffolk, the Early Bird Herd, pictured with Ipswich Blue, from the Pigs Gone Wild campaign. Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE - Credit: Archant

Big-hearted businesses have pledged their support to a fundraising art trail that is set to bring a huge boost to Suffolk’s county town.

Elmer the Elephant sculptures will be taking over Ipswich next year. Pictured are Agatha and Evelyn.

Elmer the Elephant sculptures will be taking over Ipswich next year. Pictured are Agatha and Evelyn. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, which is hoped to raise thousands of pounds for St Elizabeth Hospice, arrives in Ipswich in 2019, bringing 50 large and 100 small Elmers to discover around the town.

The trail, which follows the hugely succesful Pigs Gone Wild campaign, will be based on the popular patchwork elephant, and will see the hospice joining forces with Wild In Art and Elmer publishers Andersen Press.

Now a group of sponsors have pledged to donate an additional £31,500 to the Ipswich-based hospice through their own fundraising efforts for the trail, which will run from from June to September next year.

The nine Elmer’s Early Bird Herd companies, which met for the first time on Thursday, March 22, aim to each raise an additional £3,500 over the next 18 months - equivalent to 175 hours of nursing care at the hospice - in addition to their sponsorship of an Elmer statue.

Paul Ager, divisional port manager at ABP, which hosted the Early Bird Herd event. Picture: DIGIPIX

Paul Ager, divisional port manager at ABP, which hosted the Early Bird Herd event. Picture: DIGIPIX IMAGING - Credit: Archant

Paul Ager, divisional port manager at ABP, which hosted the event at Ipswich Waterfront, said: “Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk provides a fantastic opportunity to get involved in local fundraising, having fun at the same time as really making an impact – not only for charity but also for our business, helping us to better engage with our local community. We thoroughly enjoyed sponsoring Ipswich Blue and being part of Pigs Gone Wild, we find these trails are the perfect way to be part of something really special for our town.”

The nine Early Bird Herd companies are ABP, Ashton Legal, Coes, Homestyle Windows, Ipswich Buses, Ipswich Glass, Isaacs, Larking Gowen and Wyards Removals.

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Norman Lloyd, campaign manager for Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk said: “We thought £3,500 was an ambitious target to set, but we were obviously forgetting how competitive some of our parade sponsors are. All I can say is watch this space for some fantastic fundraising.”

Pigs Gone Wild attracted around 250,000 visitors to Ipswich in 2016 and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1million. 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.

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