A CHARITY which provides services and support for people who are vulnerable or face disadvantage in Worcestershire and Herefordshire is partnering in a county arts event this summer.

Onside will collaborate with Worcester’s Big Parade to promote mental health awareness to thousands of residents and visitors enjoying the eight-week elephant-themed sculpture trail.

The charity’s elephant will not only add a splash of colour to city streets and public spaces but, it’s hoped, will also open up a dialogue about the challenges some are facing in the community and signpost them to local help and guidance.

A Wild in Art event being brought to Worcester by St Richard’s Hospice, Worcester’s Big Parade will also help raise funds for patients affected by life limiting illnesses and their loved ones.

The project builds on the hugely successful Worcester Stands Tall giraffe trail in 2018, which saw giraffe sculptures displayed across the city before raising £210,000 for St Richard’s at auction.

Kate Harvey, Onside chief executive, said: “We are delighted to be a partner in Worcester’s Big Parade and raising awareness of the vital importance of good mental health and wellbeing.

"This will be such an important event this summer; encouraging people to get out and about again and reconnect with family, friends and the outdoors.

"We’re very aware that reconnecting with others might prove challenging for some people particularly those who might face exclusion or isolation through disability, mental ill health or their age.

"We’re keen to signpost support services available, promote ways to improve mental health and wellbeing including highlighting how people can become more engaged and active in their communities.”

While all elephant calves have now been adopted by local schools and community groups, a few large elephant sponsorships remain.

To get involved call 01905 763963 and ask for Sara Matthews, email smatthews@strichards.org.uk or visit https://worcestersbigparade.co.uk/get-involved/

You can follow Worcester’s Big Parade at www.facebook.com/WorcestersBigParade www.twitter.com/WorcsBigParade and www.Instagram.com/WorcsBigParade

Worcester’s Big Parade is supported by partners Crowngate, Worcester City Council, Worcester Business Improvement District (BID), the Worcester News and BBC Hereford & Worcester.

To find out more, visit www.worcestersbigparade.co.uk