Children’s Hospice 21: ‘Elmer’s Big Trail’ receives £35k aid from Antrim and Newtownabbey

The local authorities will officially support the Elmer’s Great Trail Jubilee Event in Belfast before it is held in the area.

From June 20 to the end of August, unique elephant sculptures will be placed in Belfast. The art trail will be based on David McKee’s popular children’s character Elmer the Patchwork Elephant. The character “Elmer” was chosen for this project as it symbolizes “differentness”.

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Mary McCall, Income and Generation Director at Hospice Northern Ireland, explained: “Elmer is a much loved character, he represents the kindness, difference, acceptance and friendship that are in many ways the spirit of the hospice.

Mossley Mill is one of the proposed Hospice Anniversary Garden Party venues.

“We hope the community will join us in celebrating the care provided by children’s hospice, enjoying the beautiful Elmers and maybe learning a little more about what hospice is all about.”

Children’s Hospice provides specialized care to more than 370 infants, children and adolescents with limited and life-threatening illnesses both at home and at Newtownabby Hospice.

Speaking at the opening, Antrim Mayor and Newtonabby Councilor Billy Webb said: “Antrim and Newtonabby City Council greatly appreciates the vital work of the hospice and will be actively supporting this exciting nationwide creative route next summer.

“This announcement is great news, especially at a time when the local economy really needs a boost and things to look forward to.”

Uniquely designed Elmers will be located around key attractions.

and open spaces in Belfast. Each elephant will be painted by established or emerging local artists. When the trail leaves Belfast, it will run in the area from 2 to 4 September.

The advisory report states, “The trail’s running provides an opportunity to draw a significant number of visitors to the area and showcase the key assets, sites and attractions brought to life by Elmer’s Great Trail.”

The council also agreed to host a May 6 garden party for 300 guests for the families that the hospice has supported for the past 21 years.

Mossley Mill, Antrim Castle Gardens and Sentry Hill have been suggested as suitable sites.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter

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