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Newcastle Weighed in Nelly Birdie 27 August 2019

Birdie teams up with Newcastle Racecourse in support of St Oswalds Elmer’s Great North Parade

St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice is on a mission is to connect the North East community and raise vital funds through an unusual art project, and Newcastle Racecourse and cartoonist Birdie have offered to help.

During August to November over 50 large and over 100 small individually-designed Elmer the Patchwork Elephant sculptures have been placed across Tyne and Wear to create a spectacular art trail. The trail finishes in a finale at Newcastle Racecourse on 9-10 November where there will be a chance to view the full Elmer herd before they are sold at auction or returned to schools. Newcastle have contributed their own racing themed Elmer, ‘Weighed in Nelly’, with help from racing’s cartoonist Birdie.

Newcastle has provided a voucher code for their fireworks night tickets, which can be found by those visiting ‘Weighed in Nelly’.

Elmer Great North Parade Newcastle Racecourse
The art project involves local schools who can paint their own mini Elmer sculpture

Elmer’s Great North Parade is charity St Oswald’s second such project, following the colourful Great North Snowdogs in 2016 and is based on the much-loved children’s character, Elmer the patchwork elephant.

All the money raised from the trail will allow St Oswald’s to be there for local young people –  children and babies with incurable conditions. The hospice has to raise over £7.5 million each year to keep its doors open and its service free to those in need. Its Children’s service offers short breaks and respite care to children with complex conditions and provides support to their families.

St Oswalds Elmer Great North Parade
Local businesses are fundraising and supporting St Oswalds Great North Parade

Using St Oswalds’ trail map and app, visitors can get together with friends and family to discover new parts of the North East, while seeking out each uniquely decorated Elmer and ticking them off the list. Also part of this innovative campaign, St Oswalds are hosting scavenger hunt, speed quiz, auction and a local business selfie challenge.

Elmer Great North Parade visitors
Families are encouraged to visit Elmer elephant sculptures in locations around Tyne and Wear to collect offers hidden on each. The final parade will be at Newcastle Racecourse 9-10 November

Max McCall, Head of Marketing and Digital at Newcastle Racecourse said: “We’re delighted to be a part of Elmer’s Great North Parade, and to be supporting St Oswald’s Hospice. The initiative is fantastic, both in raising money for the charity and in offering this unique adventure across the North East. Darren Bird has provided us with an amazing Elmer in ‘Weighed In Nelly’ and we look forward to welcoming everyone to the racecourse to meet her.”

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