City businesses are helping ensure the Worcester’s Big Parade elephants shine bright this summer by donating cleaning materials and even ‘fostering’ members of the herd.
A charity sculpture trail being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice, many of the elephants are exposed to the elements, local pigeons, seagulls and even sticky drinks and snacks. But thanks to the support of Worcester-based Spontex, who’ve donated elephant pampering kits, and to a team of willing volunteers in the city from Crowngate Shopping Centre and other local businesses, the herd are getting extra spot checks.
The six-mile, free trail through Worcester features a 66-strong herd – 30 of which will be auctioned in October to raise funds for the hospice, which supports patients with life limiting illnesses and their loved ones too.
Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s Hospice, said: “Despite carrying out daily checks on our herd, you’d be amazed how quickly they can lose their shine thanks to the local birds or sticky snacks.
“By ‘fostering’ an elephant close by, city businesses are acting as extra pairs of eyes and ears for us and can help tackle any immediate bathing requirements. If any maintenance is needed to a sculpture then one of our team can pop along and pick that up.”
Since the trail launched on Tuesday 13 July thousands have flocked to enjoy the multicoloured herd with the event app having recorded close to 120,000 sculpture visits and having seen more than 1500 ele-selfies uploaded.
Samantha McCarthy, Projects and Marketing Manager for Worcester BID, which is also Community and Education Partner for the parade, said: “It’s been wonderful to see so many people out enjoying the city while elephant spotting and visiting local businesses too which are hosting some of the ele-babies in their windows.
“Our members are more than happy to help St Richard’s Hospice by keeping an eye on the herd for them and using the cleaning kits kindly donated by Spontex.”
Worcester’s Big Parade runs until Sunday 5 September. Once the trail has ended, there will be a final chance to see all 66 sculptures together at farewell events at Worcestershire County Cricket Club on Thursday 30 September – Sunday 3 October and again from Thursday 7 October – Sunday 10 Oct 2021. Tickets for farewell events are now on sale at www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk/farewell
Worcester’s Big Parade is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), DRPG, West Midland Safari Park, the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.