St Elizabeth Hospice today announced Jimmy Doherty as patron of their exciting new project Pigs Gone Wild which is set to raise £100,000 for the local charity.
Pigs Gone Wild will see around 40 pig sculptures displayed on an art trail around Ipswich and the Waterfront in summer 2016 in aid of the hospice.
Mr Doherty, owner of the popular Jimmy’s Farm, farmer and TV presenter, said: “I am really excited to be patron for Pigs Gone Wild 2016. The thought of dozens of uniquely designed pigs filling Ipswich town centre and the Waterfront with colour is very exciting, and the pig sculptures have great links to our rural and agricultural heritage – something I’m particularly passionate about.
“I’m proud that Pigs Gone Wild will provide a great boost for local businesses, but I’m particularly pleased to be supporting St Elizabeth Hospice, a charity that is at the heart of the local community.
“I know how vital the care and support that they provide is to people living with a progressive illness. The hospice supports more than 2,000 people and their families every year and many of us know someone who has been touched by hospice care. They rely on the generosity and support of the local community to help raise the millions of pounds it costs to run their services every year and Pigs Gone Wild is just one of their fundraising initiatives they run to help generate these vital funds.”
Norman Lloyd, hospice special projects manager, said: “We are thrilled to announce Jimmy Doherty as the patron of the project. We hope that this fantastic event will raise more than £100,000 for the hospice, which will make a huge difference to people who need the hospice’s vital care and support.
“It costs millions of pounds a year to run the hospice and we rely on fundraising initiatives, donations and the income generated from our shops to meet the majority of these costs.”
What is Pigs Gone Wild?
St Elizabeth Hospice has teamed up with Wild in Art to stage Pigs Gone Wild, which is set to be the biggest ever mass participation, public art event in the town.
The larger than life-size pigs, which will be stunningly decorated by local artists and community groups and sponsored by local businesses, will be foraging right across Ipswich and the Waterfront for 10 weeks next year over the summer.
The full grown pigs will be joined by more than 30 junior pig sculptures – smaller, but crafted just as creatively, by students and teachers in local schools. The junior pigs will be displayed in litters in town centre stores and venues for the 10 week period.
The hospice revealed their first pig sculpture ‘Tally-ho Trotters’, at the Suffolk Show in May, which proved a bit hit with all ages. Since then Tally-ho has been out and about in the community, visiting Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre; entertaining families at the Ufford Bygones and Fun Day event earlier this month; and is now proudly sitting in reception at the hospice in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, giving a warm welcome to patients, families, and visitors alike.
After the ten-week trail ends there is a happy ending for the pigs as they will all be auctioned off to raise funds for St Elizabeth Hospice.
Wild in Art is one of the country’s top creative producers of high-impact, public art exhibitions, featuring large-scale, individually designed and decorated ‘animal’ sculptures. They recently worked with Norfolk charity, Break, to stage GoGoGorillas! in Norwich, which was very successful and brought thousands of visitors to the city.
Why a pig?
Pigs were chosen for the event to celebrate Suffolk’s rich agricultural heritage and association with pig production in the country.
Pigs are extraordinarily intelligent, extremely social, curious, peaceful and insightful animals who spend hours playing, sunbathing and exploring, much like humans. They also represent fortune, honesty and happiness.
How can you get involved?
Pigs Gone Wild presents opportunities for the whole community to get involved.
Mr Lloyd, hospice special projects manager, explained: “Pigs Gone Wild will bring together businesses, schools and the local community in a way that celebrates Suffolk’s agricultural heritage and artistic heritage – with a host of benefits for everyone involved.
“Wild in Art events are hugely popular wherever they take place, offering an excellent return on investment whether it be staff engagement, supporting local initiatives or driving sales and footfall.”
Businesses are invited to sponsor a pig, artists will be asked to submit designs for the canvas of the pig, and schools have already been contacted about getting involved in the project.
Mr Lloyd added: “This first pig, Tally-ho Trotters, is a true inspiration for artists, businesses and schools who may want to take part in the scheme. He is a great example of how creative people can be using a pig as a canvas.”
Pigs Gone Wild is already well supported with Tower Ramparts Shopping Centre and Ipswich Central the first two companies to sign up to sponsor a pig, and St Margaret’s Primary School eagerly snapping up the first junior pig.
Pigs Gone Wild is also supported by media partners East Anglian Daily Times, Ipswich Star and presenting partner Town 102.