Stockbridge trumpets stampede of elephants to drum up charity cash

Children from Stockbridge primary with some of the elephants
Children from Stockbridge primary with some of the elephants
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A MENAGERIE of jungle animals has already graced the streets of Edinburgh as part of the country’s largest ever outdoor art exhibition.

Now a stampede of 30 baby elephants, made from papier maché, is set to descend on Stockbridge to raise funds for two city charities.

The colourful herd – part of a fundraising campaign organised by Stockbridge residents Rhona Johnston and Eleanor Spens – hopes to replicate the success of last year’s giraffe parade.

Funds raised will be shared between the Sick Kids Friends Foundation and LifeCare, an Edinburgh charity for the frail, elderly and those with dementia.

Around 30 independent businesses, including shops, cafes and restaurants in the area, have each adopted an elephant and decorated it.

The elephants will go on display in each business until December 11, when they will be auctioned off.

Last year more than 40 model giraffes lined the streets of Stockbridge in the inaugural campaign.

It raised more than £11,500 for Children 1st and the Stockbridge House Day Centre.

Miss Johnston, 46, who owns Kiss the Fish arts and crafts studio, said: “Last year we didn’t have a fixed idea of how much we hoped to raise but the local community really got behind it and it took off.

“This year it’s elephants and local businesses have been feverishly working away to create some fantastic designs.”

A Christmas craft fair and elephant-themed “Jumboree” will take place at the LifeCare centre on Cheyne Street tomorrow, where the elephants will be unveiled at around 3pm before returning to their adoptive owners.

Miss Johnston said: “I didn’t think people would be able to match last year’s efforts because they really went to town decorating the giraffes. But they have come up trumps again.

“We want to encourage people to come down and do their shopping here in Stockbridge.”

Miss Johnston sold the three-feet-tall elephants to businesses at the face value of around £100. She hopes each elephant will fetch £100 or more at auction.

Children are also being encouraged to take part in an “elephant trail”, checking in with each elephant along the route for their chance to win one of the finished elephants.

Community fundraising manager at the Sick Kids Friends Foundation, Rachel McKenzie, said: “It’s such an inventive way to raise funds. We appreciate all of their fantastic fundraising efforts and we’re very excited to see the finished elephants at the Jumboree on Sunday.”

She added: “Special thanks to Just Dogs owner Gemma for inviting patients and the team of play specialists from the Sick Kids hospital to decorate her elephant with a doggy theme. The children were delighted to play a part in this special event.”