Hospice Calls for your Memories in Anniversary Year

Living Magazines BTT_1991 Wink White model of hospice_Copyright Keech Hospice Care

For thirty years, Keech Hospice Care has been looking after adults in Luton and South Bedfordshire, and children from Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Milton Keynes who have life-limiting and terminal illnesses and now they want to hear from readers about their memories. Anyone who’s experienced the care the charity provides is being asked to email their memories and photographs to memories@keech.org.uk so they can be shared as part of the commemorations.

Hospice CEO, Liz Searle says, ‘We want to celebrate our thirtieth anniversary by remembering all those incredible people we’ve had the privilege to meet over the years. Our families are always telling us what fond memories they have of the services we provide, and now we want to share those memories as we say thank you to everyone who’s put their trust in us at such a critical moment in their lives. It would also be lovely to hear from former staff, volunteers, fundraisers – everyone really who holds a place for us in their heart.’

Continuing with the memory theme, Keech is bringing a first-of-its-kind spectacular Wild in Art free art trail to Bedfordshire this summer. The Big Trunk Trail is the biggest outdoor public art event the county has ever seen with more than thirty elephants, beautifully decorated by individual artists and put on display across Luton’s parks and landmarks. Each sculptured elephant has been generously sponsored by local businesses and will be on parade for thirteen weeks from 10 July 2021. The collective name for elephants is a ‘memory’ and the charity hopes that The Big Trunk Trail will bring people together to remember loved ones while creating fantastic new memories.

Liz says, ‘A herd of elephants is also called a Memory, because as everyone knows, elephants never forget. We know that the people we look after are never forgotten either, and we really do hope as many people as possible will share their memories of the times they’ve spent with us.

‘Visitors to the herd will be able to download our Keech Connect, Big Trunk Trail App or grab a printed map showing where they all are and the whole event is completely free. Visiting the Big Trunk Trail will make for some lovely summer days out when people can create some new family memories of their own.’

More than just a memory, when the elephants’ visit to Luton comes to an end in October, they will have the chance to own one of these beautiful sculptures. They’re all being auctioned on 11 November, with all the proceeds helping Keech Hospice Care continue its vital work.

The elephant sculptures have been produced by Wild in Art, a leading producer of public art events. Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder at Wild in Art, says, ‘At Wild in Art we’re all about making memories with our public events, so we’re delighted to form this partnership with such a great charity as Keech Hospice Care. Our elephants will give people the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll around Luton’s parks and landmarks enjoying these beautiful, cheerful art works while remembering what great care and kindness the charity has given to everyone for the past thirty years.’

Love Luton, the partnership of local organisations passionate about the town is the trail’s Project Presenting Partner. Chair of the group, Linsey Frostick, says, ‘All the members of Love Luton are really looking forward to the arrival of this magnificent herd. We hope people will want to share their memories of Keech Hospice Care’s invaluable work and be proud, as we are, of its contribution to the town.’

People who’ve experienced Keech Hospice Care’s services are invited to send their words and pictures to memories@keech.org.uk so they can all share them online and on social media.

For more details about The Big Trunk Trail please visit The Big Trunk Trail website at www.bigtrunktrail.co.uk or follow the herd on social media @BigTrunkTrail, #BigTrunkTrail. Meanwhile, two of the elephants, Peanut and Unity, are currently visiting their relatives at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo where you can take part in an exciting competition to win a family day ticket to the Zoo (2 adults and 2 children). All you have to do to enter is to take a selfie with one of the beautiful pair and post it to your own social media including the hashtag #TakeAnElphie, tagging in @BigTrunkTrail and you could be a winner (full terms and conditions can be found here: www.bigtrunktrail.co.uk/elphie.

Image: Dr Wink White (founder) with model of hospice in 1991 © Keech Hospice Care