How the art trails work

St Elizabeth Hospice’s 2019 art trail featured 55 individually designed elephants, based on the much loved children’s character, Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. 

At the same time, visitors could also meet the ‘Learning Herd’; 84 ‘young Elmers’, who were displayed in special locations all across town representing schools, youth groups and organisations.

Why Elmer?

  • 2019 marked the 30th anniversary of both St Elizabeth Hospice and Elmer;
  • Having sold over 8 million copies worldwide, Elmer is clearly a much loved character. We know from the generous support we receive from the local community, that the hospice is much loved too;
  • Elephants are associated with long memories. The hospice is a place where memories are made, and where people still come to remember loved ones;
  • In celebration of Elmer’s 30th anniversary, two other Big Parades took place around the country – and more trails mean even more interest and visitors.

So as you can see, we had a lot in common!

Once again, each Elmer was sponsored by a business and individually decorated by an artist. On reaching the end of their parade, they were auctioned to raise valuable funds for St Elizabeth Hospice – raising £211,500 on the auction night and bringing the total so far to more than a quarter of a million pounds!

As well as being significant fundraisers and awareness raisers for the vital services offered by the hospice, art trails such as Pigs Gone Wild and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk attract thousands of visitors to Ipswich and contribute huge financial benefits to the local economy.