Elmer makes return to Ipswich after last year’s big parade

PUBLISHED: 18:58 14 September 2020

A new Elmer statue is being displayed at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich  Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE

A new Elmer statue is being displayed at St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich Picture: ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE


A new Elmer has stomped into Ipswich following the mammoth success of last year’s Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk.

The much-loved herd proved a hit in the town last year, with thousands taking part in finding the elephant statues throughout the town while raising more than £260,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice.

Now, one year after the beloved children’s book characters left the town’s streets, a new addition has arrived at the hospice in Foxhall Road to showcase the hard work carried out by the charity and its staff.

Designed and decorated by hospice inpatient nurse Sarah Edwards, the new Elmer will be displayed in the hospice’s garden and includes references to its Covid-19 #HereTogether campaign, its young adult Zest service and its 24-hour OneCall support line.

A competition is now being held to name the hospice’s new addition, with the winner invited to unveil the sculpture during a ceremony in the hospice’s garden.

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Ms Edwards, who also designed and painted “Thirty ears – The Hare-y Mammoth” sculpture for last year’s parade, said: “I have tried to portray the hospice and its services as a kind of oasis and helping hand in times of need.

“The hospice’s garden feature prominently in the design as its central to our Ipswich home and patients and their families see it as a place of comfort, both physically and emotionally.

“It is such a special place where many visitors have had to visit their loved ones from during the coronavirus outbreak as we reduced visiting in our inpatient unit, in order to meet government guidelines, so it seemed an ideal backdrop for the design.”

From Artiphant to Elefont, 55 Elmer statues were involved in last year’s parade to raise money for the hospice, which provides care for people living with progressive or life-limiting illnesses.

An auction was held at the Ipswich Corn Exchange following the end of the trail, with one sculpture – Hero – selling for £50,000 under the hammer, while the Ed Sheeran-inspired Castle on the Hill Elmer sold for £10,000.

The fundraising event followed the highly successful Pigs Gone Wild trail in 2016, which raised £200,000 for the hospice.

Entry to the competition, priced at £2, can be purchased here.

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