Photo of Sara Matthews and community made elephants

Organisers of the city’s summer elephant trail are thanking county knitters and stitchers for casting on for hospice care in lockdown.

Worcester’s Big Parade, a Wild in Art event brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice, has been encouraging local residents to make and donate elephants to support the project and has been delighted by the response.

Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s Hospice, explained: “Back in November, as we entered the second lockdown, we called upon keen knitters, stitchers and elephant lovers to get their needles at the ready and get making. And our incredible community has answered that call!

“We’ve received a wonderful response with cute, cuddly and colourful elephants being posted to the hospice and we also know many more are waiting in local homes to be delivered to us when we can all get out and about again.  The soft toy elephants will be available during the trail this summer for a donation towards our care.  All the money raised will help us continue to be there for patients living with serious progressive illnesses and their loved ones too.”

The hospice would love to inspire more creative county residents during this third lockdown.  A choice of knit, crochet and felt patterns – some kindly donated by hospice supporters – are available on the Worcester’s Big Parade website at https://worcestersbigparade.co.uk/elephant-patterns/

Ms Matthews, added: “Those who’ve already made elephants have told us it’s given them the chance to use the extra time at home positively and help make a difference.  We hope we can inspire others in the same way and help spread positivity as we all stay home to stay safe once again.”

Finished elephants should be posted to Sara Matthews, Fundraising Department, St Richard’s Hospice, Wildwood Drive, Worcester, WR5 2QT, with the sender’s details inside the packaging so each maker can be thanked. Alternatively, makers can hold on to them until restrictions are lifted and pop them to the hospice Reception at a convenient time.  The lovingly made creations will then be available for a donation to the hospice in the Worcester’s Big Parade city centre pop-up shop throughout the trail.

The parade of elephant sculptures will arrive in Worcester for an eight-week art trail, hoofing it into the city on Monday 12 July.  A spectacular showcase of at least 30 painted elephant sculptures will grace the city’s streets and open spaces to form a free, open air trail.

Alongside the large sculptures will be a display of around 35 elephant calf sculptures, created by schools and community groups, on show in the city’s shop windows and Crowngate Shopping Centre.

Once the trail has ended, there will be a final chance to see all of the sculptures together before the large elephants are auctioned to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.  It will be an important fundraiser for the Worcester-based hospice which, like many charities, has faced fundraising challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.

You can follow Worcester’s Big Parade at www.facebook.com/WorcestersBigParade  www.twitter.com/WorcsBigParade  and www.instagram.com/WorcsBigParade

Worcester’s Big Parade is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), Worcester News and BBC Hereford and Worcester.

While all the baby elephants have now been adopted by schools and community groups, there is still time to sponsor a large elephant. To get involved call 01905 763963 and ask for Sara Matthews, email smatthews@strichards.org.uk or visit https://worcestersbigparade.co.uk/get-involved/ To find out more, visit www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk

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