Two Beds sponsored elephants trumpet into town

Wed 21 July, 2021
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The University of Bedfordshire is sponsoring two very special elephants within the colourful herd of Keech Hospice Care’s Big Trunk Trail, which has taken over Luton town centre.

On parade until the 8th October, the group of elephant sculptures include two sponsored by the University: Artie and Bedzy. Both decorated by artist Amy Bourbon, they take their place amongst the herd which is celebrating Keech Hospice Care’s 30th anniversary year.

Artie stands majestically outside the University’s School of Art and Design on Guildford Street while Bedzy is one of three baby elephants in the STEM Building’s window display. In the sunny weather, Lutonians and visitors alike have been walking the trail, ticking off each elephant as they spot it.

A special map has been created to guide people on their elephant safari around the trail; copies are available (with a suggested £1 donation) from a number of places including the Keech Hospice Care Park Street shop, Luton Central Library and The Big Trunk Trail “gift shop” in The Mall.

BedzyWith more than seventy beautifully decorated elephants involved, it is the biggest public art event Bedfordshire has ever seen. The entire event is being supported by the project presenting partner, Love Luton and each individual elephant is sponsored by famous names and organisations in the area such as Luton Town FC, Nadiya Hussain, The Captain Tom Foundation, London Luton Airport, and the University.

Keech Hospice Care CEO, Liz Searle commented: “I am excited at the thought of these magnificent elephants standing among Luton’s iconic attractions and streets, bringing colour and fun to the town.

“Another collective name for elephants is a ‘memory’ and, as a hospice, we hope The Big Trunk Trail will bring people together to remember loved ones while creating fantastic new memories.”

The University of Bedfordshire is proud to be a longstanding supporter and partner of Keech Hospice Care. Recently the University’s Campus Centre hosted Unity, an early member of the Big Trunk Trail that now resides in Wardown Park, and in April this year Professor Gurch Randhawa, Director of the Institute of Health Research, was named one of the charity’s first ambassadors.

The University’s Market Research Manager Andrew Kingston is also supporting the Hospice, cycling 275 miles to raise £1000 before the trail ends.

Roisin Kendall, Access Partnership Manager at the University, commented: “The University of Bedfordshire are proud to be the education sponsor for the Big Trunk Trail. The work of Keech is so important to us as an institution and community and these amazing, beautiful and creative elephants celebrate the diversity of the town. 

“The University have sponsored Artie and our very own baby elephant Bedzy and through them we hope to encourage children and families to visit our campus and see the connection to higher education as their next step.”

When the Big Trunk Trail comes to a close this autumn, the elephant sculptures are being put up for auction. All proceeds from the 11th November auction will help Keech Hospice Care continue caring for adults with life-limiting and terminal illnesses in the area.

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For more information about Artie, the University of Bedfordshire’s sponsored elephant sculpture, visit: 


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