A stampede of giant elephants heading to Sheffield

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This summer a stampede of 59 giant elephants are arriving in the city. These exotic invaders are part of Herd of Sheffield - the largest public art event of its kind in the region, hosted by Wild in Art and The Children’s Hospital Charity.

Stomping their way alongside will be over 70 Little Herd elephant calves which have been hand designed and painted by school children throughout South Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Bradfield School was the first to sign up to the project, and have just completed their amazing elephant, after working for 10 weeks every Thursday after school.

The school encouraged all their pupils to submit an elephant idea, with the best being picked to form a design team. This was originally meant to include just four pupils, but the entries were so good that 24 students, ranging from 11 to 15 years old, made the cut. They then pooled their ideas to come up with a final design.

Entitled Bradley, their addition to the herd is based on Sheffield’s involvement in the steel industry. The feet of the elephant show the urban foundations of the city, with smoke from the chimneys rising up into trees, symbolising the rural heritage of the city. The metallic cogs which decorate the top half of the elephant represent Bradfield School’s emphasis on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths.)

“Little Herd has been one of the nicest projects we’ve ever been involved with as a school,” says, Sarah Drabble, Art and Design subject leader for the school. “We needed to raise £500 in order to take part but through holding a school wide non-uniform day we managed to raise over £1000. We’re really looking forward to seeing Bradley on the elephant trail this summer – even though we don’t want to part from him!”

“You can guarantee that every child in the school has visited the hospital at some point and they all know what it means to the city. They were so excited to see pictures of what the new wing of the hospital is going to look like. They have loved being part of Little Herd and knowing that they’ve contributed to the charity!”

“I’ve enjoyed the project a lot,” said Emily Lawson Todd, aged 12. “My favourite parts were painting on the cogs with silver ink, putting the glitter on the elephant and working with new friends.”

“I feel excited to see all the elephants put together,” said Natalya Aktekin, aged 12. “It will be like a big elephant collage in the city!”

Cheryl Davidson, Community Fundraiser for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital Charity said: “The children of Bradfield School have worked incredibly hard to get their elephant ready in time for the launch of the Little Herd stampede. We’re so pleased with the effort they’ve put both into their sculpture and their fundraising. ”

The sculptures will be on display throughout Sheffield for 12 weeks this summer from the end of June. The larger elephants will be auctioned off to raise much needed funds for the Make it Better appeal whilst the Little Herd elephants will be returned to the schools that created them.