St Elizabeth Hospice reveals why Elmer the elephant trail perfectly represents hospice

Elmer Patchwork - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES

Elmer Patchwork - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES - Credit: Archant

Bosses behind the successor to the Pigs Gone Wild Trail for 2019, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, have revealed why the popular elephant is the perfect creature for the trail’s return.

Imagination Can Take You Anywhere - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES

Imagination Can Take You Anywhere - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES - Credit: Archant

The eagerly-awaited follow-up was unveiled at Ipswich Town Hall on Thursday night by St Elizabeth Hospice, where the popular patchwork elephant was revealed.

Campaign bosses said it was the perfect marriage, as both the Elmer character and St Elizabeth Hospice celebrate their 30th anniversaries in 2019.

But project manager Norman Lloyd has said there were other reasons why the elephant was symbolic of the hospice as a whole.

He said: “We love the idea of an elephant because at the hospice we love elephants.

“Elephants have got long, long memories and at the hospice we create memories for the loved ones.

“In the wild elephants walk around, stomp around as family groups looking after each other, and that’s what we would like to think happens at the hospice.

Astronaut - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES

Astronaut - Elmer Art Parade. Picture: SAM DAWES - Credit: Archant

“We help families as well as the patients.”

Most Read

Mr Lloyd said that because of Elmer’s international standing as a favourite children’s book character, the elephant’s presence around the streets of Ipswich marked a coup for the town which would help promote the best of Ipswich and the hospice.

Last year, the Pigs Gone Wild trail helped bring in an estimated £1m to the town and the auctioning of the pigs raised £200,000 for the hospice.

Elmer will be the next Pigs Gone Wild trail. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Elmer will be the next Pigs Gone Wild trail. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Following its popularity, which brought around 250,000 people from across the region into town, the hospice’s chief executive Mark Millar hopes the Elmer trail can be even more successful.

He said that the feedback from last year was “tremendous” and added: “this is going to be bigger, better, more exciting than it was in 2016 – 2016 was the warm-up event.”

The three Elmers unveiled on Thursday night are standing proudly at the Town Hall, where members of the public can go and see a taster of what they can expect when the 12 week trail arrives in June 2019.

From left to right: Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk patronTerry Hunt, project manager Norman Lloyd, St El

From left to right: Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk patronTerry Hunt, project manager Norman Lloyd, St Elizabeth Hospice chief executive Mark Millar and hospice supporter Alwyn Nash with Elmer. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

The trail will feature 50 large Elmers sponsored by local firms with 100 baby Elmers decorated by children.

Project patron Terry Hunt added: “Something like this stands out to the public, it’s a bit of a difference, a bit of fun.”