Fred.Olsen raises £20,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice during Elmer’s Big Parade campaign

Travel Trunk on Ipswich Waterfront

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ guests, staff and crew have raised more than £20,000 in aid of an Ipswich-based hospice as part of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, which culminated with an auction last night.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, which has its head office based in Ipswich, was a sponsor of Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk, which saw over 50 uniquely designed elephant sculptures take over the town and its waterfront area, to raise funds for and awareness of the vital work of St Elizabeth Hospice – the main hospice servicing the east Suffolk area.

Last year, Fred. Olsen sponsored its very own Elmer – Travel Trunk – which spent the summer displayed on the Ipswich waterfront, celebrating the company’s maritime heritage.

Throughout the parade, Fred. Olsen guests and crew aboard its four-strong ocean fleet – Balmoral, Boudicca, Braemar and Black Watch – raised over £15,620 with fundraising events, raffles, sponsored swims, colourful manicures and the sale of Elmer cookies. Meanwhile, the efforts continued shoreside with a series of fundraising events at the company’s headquarters in White House Road, Ipswich.

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Then the company purchased Elmer’s Travel Trunk, designed by Suffolk artist Angela Ashford, for £4,400 when it went under the hammer at auction. The campaign as a whole has raised £261,500 for the hospice so far. 

Peter Deer, Managing Director at Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:

“St Elizabeth Hospice sits close to our hearts here at Fred. Olsen, having provided vital support to many of our colleagues and their families over the years.

“Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk was particularly special for us, as it was in celebration of both St Elizabeth Hospice’s and Elmer the Patchwork Elephant’s 30th anniversaries, in the same year that we also celebrated 30 years of being based in Ipswich.

“We are very proud to be a part of the Ipswich community, and having Travel Trunk as our own will act as a constant reminder to our staff of the fantastic place in which we all live and work, and bring back fond memories of what we managed to achieve between us in aid of the hospice this summer.

“A particular thank you must be sent to all of our guests, who come from right across the UK, who have shown great support to the cause while traveling on their holidays with us, as they always do.

“We have got lots of adventures planned for Travel Trunk over the coming months so that we can continue to raise awareness of St Elizabeth Hospice right across the world. Watch this space to see where his travels will take him next!”

Norman Lloyd, Campaign Manager for St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are so pleased that Fred. Olsen was successful in its bid for Elmer’s Travel Trunk. Their whole team have worked so hard ever since they signed up as a campaign sponsor and their support has been really great for us and the trail as a whole.

“We can’t wait to see what they have up their sleeve for Elmer’s Travel Trunk next, we have a feeling that he is going to have a lot of fun with his new owners!”

Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk was St Elizabeth Hospice’s second art trail, organised once again in partnership with Wild in Art, as well as new partner Andersen Press, the publishers behind the popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant.

The parade saw more than 50 large, bespoke Elmer sculptures laid out across Ipswich Town Centre and the Waterfront to help raise funds and awareness for St Elizabeth Hospice. It marks the 30th anniversary since the first book on Elmer’s adventures was published by Andersen Press, with St Elizabeth Hospice also celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.