St Elizabeth Hospice’s mini pigs are lending a helping trotter to the Pigs Gone Wild fundraising trail

The mini 'upcycled' pigs made for residents at St Elizabeth Hospice by an army of volunteers. From l

The mini 'upcycled' pigs made for residents at St Elizabeth Hospice by an army of volunteers. From left, Dorothy Williamson, Betty Smith, Yvonne Meadows, Gillian Clark, Janie Green. - Credit: Archant

Not only has the Pigs Gone Wild project taken over Ipswich’s town centre but it has also taken over the very cause it is raising money for – the St Elizabeth Hospice.

For some inpatients at the Foxhall Road hospice, getting out and exploring the town to find the pigs isn’t possible.

Instead, the pigs have been brought to them.

Sarah Nicholls is the co-ordinator of Made with Love, a regeneration initiative at the hospice which up-cycles donations for resale.

She said: “Just because you can’t hang a curtain with a frayed hem doesn’t mean the pattern is ruined, you can still use it.”

Recently she was inspired to set up a mini pigs gone wild.

Her team of more than 100 volunteers got to work making knitted and crocheted pigs who now call the 26-year-old hospice home.

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The pigs have been scattered everywhere throughout the centre: On top of tables, chairs, windows and doors.

Ms Nicholls believes this type of fundraising is unique and harnesses the community’s creativity.

Kate Barber, one of the dedicated day care sisters at the hospice, was pleased the patients were able personalise the pigs.

“Patients got involved by naming the pigs on the trail and creating life stories for them, which are written on labels attached to the pigs,” she said.

The humour of patients shines through as one label reads ‘I want to be the best bacon!’

The woolly creatures are also for sale in the Made with Love shop and the response so far has been encouraging – many have already been bought.

And they are not stopping here; the pigs are travelling the world.

The hospice’s marketing assistant Sophie Johnson said: “Staff, patients and volunteers who have bought some of the knitted pigs have also been encouraged to take them away on their holidays, or if a loved one is going away, and to get photos of them on their travels, with some going to Latitude and to Germany, so they really are going wild.”

Made with Love is always looking to grow and for more volunteers to get on board with the project.

Anyone interested in getting involved should email Sarah Nicholls

See more Pigs Gone Wild news here or for details of how to get involved, see our guide here