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Have you ‘herd’ who is coming to Tyne and Wear in 2019?

Meet Elmer!

A trail of 61 sculptures inspired by the animated film The Snowman™ and The Snowdog, which covered North and South Tyneside, Sunderland, Gateshead, Newcastle and Northumberland for nine weeks in autumn 2016, attracted more than 676,000 people. And its organiser, Newcastle’s St Oswald’s Hospice, revealed that popular children’s storybook character Elmer the Elephant will be the inspiration for a second, similar trail. Written and illustrated by David McKee, the Elmer books – featuring the iconic, patchwork elephant - have been translated into more than 50 languages, selling in excess of eight million copies worldwide. Elmer’s Great North Parade will take place for 10 weeks starting on Monday 19 August 2019, with individually decorated statues of the character positioned throughout Tyne and Wear. The Parade will also be supported by a regionwide learning programme for schools and children’s groups and will culminate in a farewell weekend on 2 and 3 November.

"Elmer was a natural successor to Snowdog for a number of reasons, not least because he celebrates his 30th birthday this year, making him almost the same age as the Hospice.”

Jane Hogan, Project Lead

Elmer supports St Oswald's Children's Hospice

This will enable people to see the sculptures herded together for the final time, before they are auctioned to raise money for the Hospice. Figures show that Great North Snowdogs boosted the region’s economy by more than £16.5m and raised a massive £367k for the hospice’s children and young adults’ service. Elmer was a natural successor to Snowdog for a number of reasons, not least because he celebrates his 30th birthday this year, making him almost the same age as the Hospice. But there are also connections to our work at the Hospice. Not only does Elmer promote values such as bravery, friendship and diversity but, like all elephants he lives in family groups, where they protect the young and vulnerable and mourn each other’s passing. And, of course, elephants never forget.

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