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Plea for trailmakers to help elephants stomp into town for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 06:00 16 March 2019

Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk campaign manager Norman Lloyd with a selection of Elmers ahead of the summer launch. Pictures: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk campaign manager Norman Lloyd with a selection of Elmers ahead of the summer launch. Pictures: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

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St Elizabeth Hospice is looking for volunteers to help Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk stomp its way through Ipswich town centre this summer.

St Elizabeth Hospice is looking for 30 volunteers to celebrate two special 30th anniversaries.  Picture: RACHEL EDGESt Elizabeth Hospice is looking for 30 volunteers to celebrate two special 30th anniversaries. Picture: RACHEL EDGE

The hospice is searching for 30 volunteer ‘trailmakers’, representing the 30 year anniversary being shared by both the hospice and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

Trailmakers will be seen as the face of the parade - welcoming, informing and assisting visitors across Ipswich, and keeping a watchful eye over the 140 sculptures in the colourful herd.

Campaign manager Norman Lloyd said: “With our previous trail Pigs Gone Wild it quickly became apparent that having good trailmakers is absolutely essential for the smooth running of the trail and the wider campaign. “It was such an exciting, busy time when the sculptures were all installed in their locations around Ipswich and we really relied on having that additional support from our team of wonderful volunteers.

“We are looking forward to creating a new team of Elmer trailmakers, or Elmer guardians, as they have also been called.”

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk follows 2016’s Pigs Gone Wild, which attracted 250,000 visitors to the town and boosted the local economy by an estimated £1 million.

It is hoped this years parade will top the £200,000 raised for the hospice by Pigs Gone Wild in 2016, which funded a week’s care for patients in the region.

Patrick Eade, a former Pigs Gone Wild trailmaker, said: “If Elmer is anything like the pigs we can look forward to an influx of visitors and a huge feel-good factor this summer.

“It was great being a trailmaker and meeting so many people - Suffolk folk are a hospitable lot with a keen sense of fun so Elmer is bound to be a success.

“Science has proven that elephants have great memories, I’m sure seeing 140 Elmers in Ipswich this summer is going to be something we will never forget!”

Trailmakers must be aged 18 or older, with a love for fun and meeting new people. The hospice will be running an information session on Saturday, April 27 for those interested in finding out more.

To register interest, or for an informal chat about the role, contact Sue Joy on 01473 707016, or email the hospice.

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