Elephantastic trails get underway in Horsham | Action Medical Research

Pack your trunk for Horsham

Action’s Community Fundraising Manager in the south-east, Paula Ray, tells us why some unusual animals have been sighted in West Sussex…

It’s going to be an elephantastic summer here in Horsham where Action Medical Research has its main office - we’re taking part in an elephant ‘safari’ which will see the town filled with patterned pachyderms!

Local firms have been invited to adopt an elephant for a good cause, which will then be auctioned off in November, and a total of 185 elephants have been decorated by 128 organisations in support of 64 charities or community groups.

These extraordinary elephants will be on display throughout Horsham until the end of August as part of three Elephantastic trails organised by the Rotary Club of Horsham.

We were delighted to have two companies adopt an elephant for Action Medical Research… and we’re thrilled with their creative efforts too!

In Japanese restaurant Wabi, our elephant has been designed by local artists Jean Holder and Edith Barton and signed by YouTube superstars Marcus Butler and Niomi Smart.

Niomi said: “I am absolutely ecstatic to be raising awareness for such an incredible charity” – you can read her blog about supporting Action here.

Wabi owner Verity Craig told me she only recently discovered Action Medical Research has its main office in Horsham so she chose to support us because “it’s great to be able to help to raise awareness of this charity in the local community”.

We can’t reveal the nickname of our elephant, as that’s the whole point of the trail: participants have to note down the name of every elephant. But apparently, Wabi’s creation (pictured above with Niomi, me, Marcus and Wabi's Pedro Martins) is named after a brown sea vegetable which grows wild on rocky coastlines around Japan…

We’ve also been backed by Marks & Spencer in Horsham, who have decorated their elephant (pictured above) with beautiful sunny scenes of childhood thanks to talented member of staff Jasmine Miah. Want a clue about its name? Well, we can only tell you that this is one electrifying elephant!

The elephants will make their big entrance on Sunday at an official unveiling led by actor Brian Blessed in the Carfax, and they’ll be on display around the town until 31 August.

Back in 2013 we were involved in the Horsham Giraffe Trail, also organised by the Rotary Club of Horsham, which saw a grand total of 51 giraffes adopted by local shops and businesses. At the time we teamed up with our local Waitrose to create ‘Betty’, a  5 foot  papier-mâché model which was beautifully decorated by a talented group of year 6 pupils from local primary school Greenway Academy.

This time round, to make the most of the elegant elephants roaming the town, we’ll be running a selephantastic selfie competition on Twitter – all you have to do is tweet a photo of you with one of our elephants with the hashtag #selphtastic to @actionmedres, or share a picture on our Facebook page.

The competition is open from 27 July until 31 August (terms and conditions apply), while the Elephantastic trail is running, and we’ll pick the best selfie on 1 September 2015. The best photo will win this lovely Paddington Bear book (pictured below) signed by the author, Michael Bond.

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