Peter and Jess’ Elmer story

Date published: 27 September 2022

“When my wife Mandy was receiving symptom control at Heart of Kent Hospice, a colourful Elmer stood in the Hospice reception which gave us all a reason to smile when we came in for Mandy’s appointments”, said Peter.

Although Mandy never got to experience the trail for herself, as she sadly died in the April before ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’ started in the summer months; she really enjoyed watching the Elmer truck, as well as the colourful constant presence of the Patchwork Elmer at the Hospice reception which always gave Mandy a reason to smile.

Peter and his daughter Jess (then 16) walked round the Elmer trail two or three times and Peter said: “We enjoyed the Elmer trail so much that we ended up getting the bug and wanted to see more trails, so we signed up with the Wild in Art website so we could plan when to visit other trails around the UK.”

Each time we walked around a new trail it was a great way to keep busy but to also remember Mandy as she would have enjoyed the trails too. Jess and I have visited the ‘Cows’ in Cambridge, ‘Rockets’ in Leicester, ‘Giraffes’ in Edinburgh and the ‘Ducks’ in Hastings!

Jess won second place for the number of steps taken on our visits to enjoy ‘Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade’ and was awarded a little gold Elmer trophy for her achievement. We also bought a little Elmer Armstrong souvenir from the Hospice shop in Maidstone.

The Elmer trail also introduced us to new areas close to where we live. Despite living in Maidstone for 19 years we had never visited Vinters Nature Reserve, which is close to the crematorium, until we visited to see the Elmer in Bloom which was placed there during the trail.”

Peter and Jess are now regulars at Heart of Kent Hospice fundraising events and took part in the Bluebell Walk earlier this year and also the Sunflower remembrance event. They are both looking forward to the next Hospice trail.

Find out more about our Heart of Kent Hospice fundraising events below: