An “Elmer the Elephant” sculpture has been unveiled at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, as part of ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’ in support of Heart of Kent Hospice, based on the popular books by David McKee.
For the next nine weeks, Elmer and his friends will be marching on to the streets of Maidstone in the town’s first-ever public art trail.
Community artist, speed painter and tutor Lois Cordelia has created Leeds Castle’s ‘Heart of the Garden’ elephant which has been placed outside the library in Maidstone.
A ‘learning herd’ decorated by children from local schools can also be found within the library. These include elephants designed by Harrietsham C of E Primary, Palace Wood Primary, Park Way Primary, Senacre Wood Primary, West Borough Primary and Wouldham All Saints C of E Primary. The library also has an elephant created for the Heart of Kent Hospice, beautifully designed by artist Vanessa Brown.
During the nine weeks Elmer and his friends are at the library, younger visitors will be offered free craft and learning packs (subject to availability), including a fantastic elephant quiz, and the library will be running competitions with the chance to win prizes – including tickets to Leeds Castle.
Online story times can also be found on Maidstone Libraries’ Facebook page. The learning herd will be dotted around the library and archives ready for children to explore.
James Pearson, Head of KCC’s Libraries, Registrations and Archives, said: “We are delighted to be a part of ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’.
“Elmer is one of our favourite characters and it is wonderful to be able to support the Heart of Kent Hospice in this fantastic initiative. After an extremely difficult year, we are so pleased to be able to welcome families into the library and be a part of a local community, coming together for some much-needed cheer.”
As part of this event, there are three fully accessible Elmer trails around Maidstone, each reflecting the town’s history, economic heart and areas of natural beauty. Copies of a beautifully hand-illustrated map can be found within the library and at other town centre locations across Maidstone and in the Leeds Castle shop at the main entrance.
To find out the locations of each Elmer and the herds of small Elmers, download the Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade app from the App Store or Google Play for free. Each Elmer will have a unique app code. Once you tap the code into your mobile device, it will reveal some exciting rewards to download.
For more information visit www.elmermaidstone.co.uk or check out KCC’s Maidstone Libraries Facebook page.