This summer, come rain or shine, storybook favourite Elmer the elephant and his chunky chums will be spreading a smile across our great city and Mount Edgecumbe, raising awareness and funds for St Luke’s.

The fun starts on 8 July, when Elmer’s Big Parade is launched and the 40 elephant sculptures – each individually painted by a talented artist, including globally celebrated Plymouth artist, St Luke’s Patron Brian Pollard – come out from under wraps as they’re unveiled for all to enjoy.

With each sculpture sponsored by a local organisation, plus the finale – the auctioning of the elephants in October – this mammoth event will raise funds towards sustaining our vital service.

Crucially, the project is also already helping to open up more open, honest conversations about death, dying and bereavement so that everyone feels listened to, understood and supported.

As part of this, our Education team has been working closely with local schools, recognising the importance of equipping staff with the knowledge, skills and confidence to help children experiencing loss. The ‘mini’ Elmers the schools have had such fun decorating as part of this work will be on display at Mount Edgecumbe for visitors to enjoy as part of the event.

Elmer’s Big Parade is great news for our community in other ways, too. Not only is it set to attract 250,000 visitors to our city, bringing a big boost for all sorts of businesses from shops to restaurants, it will encourage people to get out and about on foot,

enhancing their well-being as they discover parts of our city they may not have previously seen.

Please share the news of Elmer’s Big Parade with family and friends – it’s a great way to spend time together and create special memories this summer. Be sure to engage with the social media, too, as it spreads the news about 40 trunks and tails and the difference they’re making for such a fantastic cause.

For more information on the trail visit Elmer’s official website at www.elmerplymouth.co.uk

We’re proud that our popular Midnight Walk is the city’s favourite girls’ night out, with both a faithful following taking part year on year and new additions each time the event comes around.

Personal experience of terminal illness affecting loved ones, coupled with the desire to make a difference through a career in healthcare, have combined to lead a young student to St Luke’s, where she’s become a familiar face at our specialist unit at Turnchapel.

The students from Plymouth College of Art have been busy styling the wide range of elegant, great-value wedding dresses, some secondhand and some ex-display gowns, showing that you don’t have to spend a fortune to look a million dollars on your big day.

Recently, our very own Patron, celebrated local artist Brian Pollard, paid a visit to Boringdon Primary School in Plymouth, accompanied by his hand-painted Elmer, one of the highlights of this summer’s trail. In his trademark uplifting style, Brian spent time talking with the children as part of their school assembly around death and dying.

It’s fun to play, has a vital role in supporting our expert care and this June it’s celebrating 25 years, so raise a cheer to the St Luke’s weekly lottery and the difference it helps us make across the community!

We recently won the Employer of the Year category at the Plymouth Business Awards.

Drum roll, please… He’s done it! Not only has Plymouth man Cuz Cussen reached his target of raising an incredible £100,000 for St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, he’s smashed it, pulling £100,563 – a Titan of a total for the much-loved local charity that cared so compassionately for his mum, Dot, before she passed away from cancer in 2008.

Despite it being straightforward to do and saving loved ones unnecessary distress at an already difficult time, many people do not have a will. In fact, in the UK 77% of parents with children under five do not have one*.

It was a sight more dazzling than the day’s bright sunshine – a record-breaking gathering of over 2,200 guys striding the streets at our hugely popular Men’s Day Out on 30 March, making it the biggest male-only charity event in the South West, probably the UK, too!