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