Elmer the elephant artwork set to go on display across North East as part of hospice campaign

Matt Eyres,Business Development Manager at Bell Truck and Van with Ashley Elliott, Fundraising Team Manager at St Oswald's Hospice.
Matt Eyres,Business Development Manager at Bell Truck and Van with Ashley Elliott, Fundraising Team Manager at St Oswald's Hospice.

Colourful patchwork character Elmer the elephant is set to go on display across the North East.

Elmer’s Great North Parade - a 10 week long free public art trail delivered by St Oswald’s Hospice - opens on August 21.

Mercedes-Benz dealer, Bell Truck and Van, has donated a Vito van to transport Elmer the Elephant for the duration of the project – from now until the end of the year.

Wrapped in specially created Elmer branding it will take him to visit his fans at events and to meet art trail sponsors to thank them for their support.

This month alone, the Elmer sculpture has been out and about in his new Elmer-mobile taking part in the Celebration of Tourism in North East England event at Newcastle Cathedral and visiting art trail sculpture sponsors at The Customs House, South Shields.

He will also be meeting shoppers at the Bridges in Sunderland from April 15 to 17 and networking with businesses at Newcastle Eagles to encourage new sponsors to join the herd.

His month will then draw to a close, with a visit to Newcastle Racecourse and a trip to Northumberland Zoo.

“Elmer has a mammoth task ahead of him over the coming months and we are delighted to be able to help him tour the North East in style,” said Ben Sowersby, managing director, Bell Truck and Van.

“The commitment shown by St Oswald’s Hospice in improving palliative care and the lives of people with incurable conditions has really struck a chord with us and we are proud to be given the opportunity to support such a wonderful local charity.”

“We are incredibly grateful to Bell Truck and Van for providing this magnificent Elmer mobile,” said Jane Hogan, Head of Fundraising at St Oswald’s Hospice.

“St Oswald’s Hospice – and this event in particular - just couldn’t manage without the generosity and support of the region’s businesses and it’s hugely appreciated.”

Elmer’s Great North Parade will feature more than 50 large and 115 small individually decorated statues of best-selling author David McKee’s colourful character.

It will draw to a close on November 1 and the sculptures will then be sold to the highest bidders at an exciting live auction at Sage, Gateshead, on November 12.

Elmer on Tour

Here are some of the key dates and venues so you can meet Elmer on his tour of the region:

15 – 17 April – The Bridges, Sunderland

18 and 19 April – Newcastle Racecourse.

30 April – Newcastle Falcons RFC

13 – 17 May – Library at Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens

25 May – Intu Eldon Square

30 May – 3 June - Elmer will be making his way around Gateshead.

6 July – Elmer’s Patchwork Parade, Saltwell Park, Gateshead

26 – 28 July – Sunderland Airshow

2 and 9 August – Asda, Metrocentre.

For more information about where to see Elmer in the run up to Elmer’s Great North Parade, visit www.stoswaldsuk.org