A launch event supported by local businesses and VIP guest, singer, Tony Hadley, was held to kickstart colourful art trail, March of the Elephants, at the St Mary’ Hub in Lichfield.
The March of the Elephants trail is an exciting, free public art sculpture trail due to take place in summer 2024, which will see around 60 elephant sculptures pop up across Lichfield, Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield from 1st July 2024.
The launch event welcomed special celebrity guest Tony Hadley, former member of the band Spandau Ballet.
Prior to attending the event in Lichfield, Tony visited patients, volunteers and staff on the St Giles Hospice Inpatient Unit in Whittington to see first hand how the funds from the trail will impact local people, and their loved ones.
Whilst visiting the Whittington site, he met patient, Colin Frewtell, 85, from Lichfield, along with Colin’s friend, Karen. Colin said: “It was lovely to have Tony come and visit us in the hospice – he’s a really nice man and chatted with me about lots of different things – including The Chase!
“Karen, my friend, is a superfan of Tony’s – she worships him! So, as soon as I knew he was coming, I told her to come along and visit me”
Following the visit, Tony officially launched the March of the Elephants sculpture trail by unveiling and signing a “gold” elephant sculpture, which will feature on the trail from next summer, before being auctioned off in the Autumn to raise vital funds for St Giles.
The 62-year-old singer said: “I was hoping and praying the elephant I unveiled would be gold, and I was right! It’s really beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing the other elephants that will be unveiled.
“I think March of the Elephants is such an amazing project and how can you not want to get behind it. We never know one day, ourselves or one of our loved ones may need hospice care. If you can, please dig deep and support this trail to help raise vital funds for St Giles Hospice.
Had a great day both at the launch and at the hospice – meeting the patients and staff at the hospice was brilliant, and being here has been fantastic, it’s been great to learn more about what’s to come in Lichfield, Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield for 2024.”
Elinor Eustace, Deputy Chief Executive at St Giles Hospice, welcomed everyone to the launch where guest speakers spoke about the benefits of getting involved in the trail, how it will impact local people, and the difference funds raised from the trail will make to local people, and their loved ones living with a terminal illness.
Tim Carter, Director at the SnowDome, who are also presenting partners for the trail, said: “We’re really excited and proud to be presenting partners for the March of the Elephants Trail. As a company, it’s always been really important to us to offer inclusive, family activities to our community, and we’ve chosen to work closely with St Giles on this project so we can continue to do that throughout the Summer of 2024.”
With the trail going live in summer 2024, there are so many ways to get involved with the trail, including sponsoring an elephant.
To find out more, visit www.marchoftheelephants.co.uk
St Giles Hospice is a registered charity offering specialist palliative and end of life care, free of charge for people living with terminal illnesses, as well as providing support for their families and carers. Our services are rated as ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission.
We care for patients from across our catchment area, which ranges from the West Midlands to East Staffordshire.
Care is offered at the hospice’s centres in Whittington and Sutton Coldfield as well as in patients’ own homes across the region.
We spend around £10 million a year providing our specialist services and, with 25% of this funded by the Government, we rely heavily on donations and income generation from the local community.