Remember The Big Trunk Trail?

Date published: 7 June 2023

A vibrant parade of elephants arrived in Luton in July 2021, raising funds for Keech Hospice Care and celebrating the hospice’s 30th anniversary.

From an initial gem of an idea by Keech Hospice Care’s CEO, Liz Searle, who wanted to thank the community for their unwavering support over 30 years, the trail grew into an example of community partnership and engagement at its best.

Dazzlingly designed elephant sculptures made up The Big Trunk Trail, a free art trail around Luton’s landmarks and public spaces for 11 weeks.

Keech Hospice Care’s vision is “Making a difference when it matters the most” and after a difficult period for everyone, the trail really made a difference to all the friends and families that followed the herd.

A group of elephants is known as a memory and as Keech Hospice Care is all about creating moments that matter and making memories for our patients and their families, the trail had to be elephants. These beautiful creatures were brought to life by local artists, businesses and schools and gave the community something to celebrate. The Big Trunk Trail offered both residents and visitors an opportunity to discover Luton’s cultural and creativity.

At the end of the trail, the elephants all gathered at farewell events at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and at Stockwood Discovery Centre. Each of the large sculptures then went to auction, together raising over £230k for Keech Hospice Care, helping to continue the provision of excellent care to adults and children with life-limiting and terminal illnesses, and their families. The small sculptures all returned to the schools and community groups that created them as a lasting legacy.

In 2024, a new trail of sculptures will fill Luton with colour and energy once more. This time with not one, but two loveable characters. The Short Tail Trail will see 90 beautiful hares and tortoises around Luton’s landmarks from 6 July to 12 September 2024.

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