A collection of brightly coloured, ornately decorated elephant statues that formed a popular art trail throughout Ipswich have now found new homes, helping to raise funds and awareness of St Elizabeth’s Hospice.
Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk is inspired by the popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant by author David McKee. The parade took place in summer 2019, becoming a popular attraction for both locals and visitors to the town. The 55 Elmers were sold at auction and are now enjoying new homes across East Anglia and beyond, including The Galley Restaurant in Woodbridge, Beccles Hospital and aboard Fred Olsen Cruise Lines’ Balmoral cruise ship.
The Not On My Patch Elmer, which is inspired by the need to raise awareness of the problems surrounding single-use plastics and waste, has joined a family with a ready-made surname for him. Sue Elmer, the new owner, explained: “My children grew up with the Elmer books, so when we learned there was to be an Elmer trail in Ipswich we wanted to be involved.
“My husband, Simon Elmer, and I had our eye on the Not On My Patch as this also had some significance for our family as our eldest daughter Maddy is dating the musician Dougie Poynter, from McFly, who recently published a book about reducing plastic waste – called Plastic Sucks.
“St Elizabeth Hospice were amazing in my father, David Brooke’s last days and enabled him to die at home, giving me enormous support whilst I cared for him. Elmer was delivered and is a prominent feature in our garden. He brightens every day and I can see him from my kitchen window – it’s always a bright day with Elmer in our garden.”
Hannah Bloom, Director of Income Generation, at St Elizabeth Hospice said: “Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk was such a fantastic event for us, proving to be an even bigger success than our previous art trail, Pigs Gone Wild in 2016.
“The public really loved the Elmers and it was great to see so many photos on social media as people ensured they visited and ticked each Elmer off their list. That was why we wanted to share with the community an update of where the Elmers are now all calling home. We are already in the process of planning another art trail for 2022, so watch this space!
“Our wonderful Elmer Travel Trunk has had quite the adventure since the end of the parade, having sailed on our flagship Balmoral to South America!
For more information visit St Elizabeth’s Hospice