Elephant hunting

Over the bank holiday weekend Emily and I went hunting for Elephants in Sheffield.  Many of you may think I have gone mad so I had better explain.

Sheffield Children’s Hospital is fundraising by displaying 58 Elephant sculptures, each one is 1.6m high and made of fibre glass and then decorated in an amazing variety of themes and colours.

“The trail of elephants celebrates Sheffield’s creativity with over 75% of artists from the city. Some well-known names include Pete McKee, James Green, Jonathan Wilkinson and Lydia Monks – each of which has put their own creative mark on a 1.6m tall fiberglass elephant sculpture. They are all very difference, take a selfie with your favourite as they will be on display til 5th October.

International artist Mark Alexander, who is currently working with Rembrandt for an exhibition in Berlin, flew to Sheffield especially to paint his elephant and international players from the World Snooker Championship signed SnookHerd, an elephant celebrating the heritage of snooker in Sheffield.

The Arctic Monkeys, famous for their love of their home city, added their signatures to their own personalised sculpture which pays homage to the striking sound wave cover of the band’s 2013 album “AM”.

By supporting the Herd of Sheffield you are investing in the future of Sheffield Children’s Hospital. Every penny raised will go towards our Artfelt programme, which transforms the hospital’s walls and spaces with bright art, helping children recover in an environment tailored to them. The programme also puts on workshops for youngsters to provide distraction during anxious moments – such as before an operation, and to breakup long stays on the wards.” From Herd of Sheffield website.

I grew up in Sheffield and like most residents have been treated at Sheffield children’s at some time and I worked there for a year.  My Mum worked there for over 25 years.

Each Elephant is individual and has a sponsor.  On October 20th the Elephants will be auctioned off and proceeds give to the hospital.

There are also some smaller Elephants at several locations, they have been designed by local school children and will be given back to the schools once the displays are finished.

So armed with our trail map off we went.  We had seen a few of them prior to this weekend, but the city centre is the location for most of them.

For Emily and I it was a rare time doing something together, my ME limitations make it difficult, but I was determined to see it through no matter how bad I felt.  The trail is quite spread out, but easy to navigate with a mobility scooter and I couldn’t believe how far Emily was prepared to walk.  She had no interest in anything else, we walked past the city beach and a fair and she wasn’t interested, just wanted to go to the next Elephant.  We did go inside Ponds Forge  to shelter from a shower and to see one of the small herds and we went into John Lewis to get some souvenirs.  Sheffield Cathedral was at the end of our hunt so we went in there, and it was easily accessible.

Emily was armed with my phone containing the Herd of Sheffield app which lets you register each Elephant you find and take it’s picture.  I had no idea what she had taken until we got home.  Here is some of what we got;


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We also got photos of Women of Steel and Jessica Ennis’s gold post box from 2012 Olympics

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It was an exhausting time ME wise, but great to be able to have one to one time with Emily and do something she enjoyed without my limitations being too obvious.

Out of the 58 large Elephants Emily has now seen 47 and she hopes to see more before they leave for the auction.  It’s been a fun way to raise money and awareness for the hospital and we saw lots of people out hunting armed with maps and cameras.

Sheffield believe

“This exciting Wild in Art event brought to you by The Children’s Hospital Charity has:

  • United our city – bringing businesses, communities, artists, individuals and schools together to create a FREE sculpture trail which is accessible to all.
  • Attracted more visitors – both nationally and regionally as well as encouraging thousands of people to become a tourist in their own city.
  • Invest in the future – with a city wide education programme that can be used for years to come and by funding a life-saving piece of medical equipment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital from the Herd auction at the end of the trail.
  • Showcase our city – celebrating Sheffield’s heritage and cementing our status as a vibrant and culturally exciting city through this world-class initiative.” From Herd of Sheffield website

I have to agree with that. You can find out more at Herd of Sheffield website

If you have enjoyed our pictures please consider making a donation to Sheffield Children’s hospital

“Sheffield Children’s Hospital is one of just four stand-alone children’s hospitals in the UK, and the only one in Yorkshire.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of children come from all over the UK and abroad for specialist treatment at our hospital. Thanks to our pioneering clinicians, we are forging the way in paediatric care and are recognised as a centre of excellence in fields ranging from asthma and cystic fibrosis to cancer, gastroenterology and major trauma.

The Children’s Hospital Charity makes this extraordinary hospital even better, funding enhancements that are above and beyond the NHS provision. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the charity can fund life-saving medical equipment, research into the prevention and cure of childhood illnesses and improvements to the environment.” From Herd of Sheffield Website.




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