A charity which provides services and support for people who are vulnerable or face disadvantage in Worcestershire and Herefordshire is partnering in a county arts event this summer.
Onside will collaborate with Worcester’s Big Parade to promote mental health awareness to thousands of residents and visitors enjoying the eight-week elephant-themed sculpture trail. The charity’s elephant will not only add a splash of colour to city streets and public spaces but, it’s hoped, will also open up a dialogue about the challenges some are facing in the community and signpost them to local help and guidance.
A Wild in Art event being brought to Worcester by St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester’s Big Parade will also help raise funds for patients affected by life limiting illnesses and their loved ones. The project builds on the hugely successful Worcester Stands Tall giraffe trail in 2018, which saw giraffe sculptures displayed across the city before raising £210,000 for St Richard’s at auction.
Kate Harvey, Onside Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to be a partner in Worcester’s Big Parade and raising awareness of the vital importance of good mental health and wellbeing. This will be such an important event this summer; encouraging people to get out and about again and reconnect with family, friends and the outdoors.
“We’re very aware that reconnecting with others might prove challenging for some people particularly those who might face exclusion or isolation through disability, mental ill health or their age. We’re keen to signpost support services available, promote ways to improve mental health and wellbeing including highlighting how people can become more engaged and active in their communities.”
Alongside the trail of large elephant sculptures will be a mini parade of around 35 calves designed and decorated by local schools and community groups. Thanks to support from Worcester Bosch, Onside will also benefit from an elephant calf with members of the charity’s Wellbeing Support Services getting to create their own ‘ele-fantastic’ work of art.
Sue Pennington, Corporate Communications Manager at Worcester Bosch Group, said: “We loved being part of the giraffe trail last time around and saw firsthand the joy that it brought to local schools and community groups involved.
“When we heard about the elephant trail and the chance to sponsor calves for local community groups to decorate, it was a very easy decision to get on board again. The team here feel so passionately about the benefits the event will bring locally, we’re sponsoring two calves for local groups. We can’t wait to see the Onside ele-baby design and hear how much fun everyone has had being part of the parade.”
Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We’re really delighted to be partnering with Onside as part of Worcester’s Big Parade; an event which is very much about bringing the community together again.
“Mental health is often talked about as the ‘elephant in the room’; one of those enormous subjects that people don’t know quite know how to approach. We hope that by bringing this topic out onto the streets of Worcester we can get people talking and raise awareness of the help and support that’s available to people locally.”
While all elephant calves have now been adopted by local schools and community groups, a few large elephant sponsorships remain. To get involved call 01905 763963 and ask for Sara Matthews, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit https://worcestersbigparade.co.uk/get-involved
Worcester’s Big Parade is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.