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Thursday, 24 September 2020


St Elizabeth Hospice calls on community to name new addition to its Elmer herd

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THE local community is being encouraged to enter a competition to name the latest member of St Elizabeth Hospice’s much-loved herd of Elmer elephant statues.

From Artiphant and Bee Kind to Elefont and Tigelephant, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk art trail brought trunk loads of colour to Ipswich, brightening up the lives of many while helping to raise funds for the independent Suffolk charity, St Elizabeth Hospice.

Now there is a new and smaller addition to the herd featuring a design which showcases the work carried out by the charity and its staff in supporting patients and the local community.

Designed and decorated by Sarah Edwards, a nurse at St Elizabeth Hospice’s inpatient unit, the new Elmer will take residence in the hospice’s garden following the result of the public naming competition, which is open until 20th September, with the winner receiving the opportunity to unveil the sculpture during a ceremony in the hospice garden.

Sarah explained:

“I’ve 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’s 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.”

St Elizabeth Hospice calls on community to name new addition to its Elmer herd. Photograph credit: St Elizabeth Hospice

From the hospice’s young adult service Zest to its 24-hour phone support line OneCall, as well as its Covid-19 fundraising campaign #HereTogether, they are all featured in the ornately decorated new Elmer to celebrate the organisation’s work in a colourful display.   

A talented artist in her spare time, Sarah also designed and painted ‘Thirty Ears – The Harey Mammoth’ sculpture which appeared in Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk art trail. A design which combined both 30th anniversaries of St Elizabeth Hospice and popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by author David McKee.

In the summer of 2019, Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk formed an art trail through Ipswich, before raising more than £260,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice, via supporting fundraising activities and an auction held at Ipswich Corn Exchange, which saw all 55 Elmer statues moving to new homes.

St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness. Centred on an individual’s needs, the hospice provides specialist support, whenever and wherever it is needed, whether at home, in the community or at the hospice.

To enter the competition, for a fee of £2 all of which goes towards St Elizabeth Hospice, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/name-the-elephant-competition-tickets-119872739591.

To find out more about St Elizabeth Hospice call 01473 727776 or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

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