County knitters make a difference by making 3,000-strong herd

Organisers of the city’s summer elephant trail are thanking county knitters and stitchers for making a BIG difference for local hospice care.


Worcester’s Big Parade, a Wild in Art event being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice, has been encouraging local residents to handcraft elephants to support the project and has been staggered by the response.


Sara Matthews, Business Development Manager for St Richard’s Hospice, explained: “When we called upon the county’s keen knitters, stitchers and elephant lovers to get making during the winter lockdowns we knew our wonderful community would get behind us – but the response has been something else.


“Incredibly, we’ve received more than 3,000 cute, cuddly and colourful elephants which will be available in our parade shop for a donation towards our care.  It’s truly humbling to see the love and care that’s gone into them and each and every elephant will help make a difference for patients living with serious progressive illnesses and their loved ones too.”


Hospice supporter Gemma Ward, who’s been coordinating a Facebook group of around 150 makers called ‘Join the stampede’, has also been helping the hospice organise their mammoth haul. She said: “After my own cancer diagnosis and recovery, I know first-hand how important the work of St Richard’s is. It seems that in Worcester, everyone knows someone who the hospice has helped – so it seemed natural to me to want to contribute.


“I may not be up to running marathons or skydiving, but I can knit. I, along with hundreds of others, have done what we can. We have knitted, crocheted and sewn to show our support, and to let people of all ages have a memento of the parade. We have used time at home to our advantage and used it to support our local hospice, in the hope that their good work may continue for many years to come.”


Ms Matthews added: “We are so grateful to Gemma and hundreds of others in the community who’ve come together to make this mammoth knitted herd.  One of our key aims of the parade is to help the city create lasting memories this summer and now trail goers can take home these gorgeous lasting mementos too.”


Anyone with handcrafted elephants to donate can still do so up until August.  Finished elephants can be dropped to the Worcester’s Big Parade shop at 57a Broad Street in Worcester seven days a week from Monday 12 July between 10am and 4pm. Alternatively, elephants can be posted or dropped to: Sara Matthews, Fundraising Department, St Richard’s Hospice, Wildwood Drive, Worcester, WR5 2QT. The hospice is asking senders to include their contact details inside the packaging so each maker can be thanked.


The parade of elephant sculptures will arrive in Worcester for eight-weeks on Monday 12 July.  A spectacular showcase of 66 elephant sculptures – large and small – will grace city streets and open spaces to form a free, open air trail.


Once the trail has ended, there will be a final chance to see all of the sculptures together before the large elephants are auctioned to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice.  It will be an important fundraiser for the Worcester-based hospice which, like many charities, has faced fundraising challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic.


Worcester’s Big Parade is a Wild in Art event being brought to the city by St Richard’s Hospice.  It 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.

Worcesters Big Parade

Worcesters Big Parade