Ahead of World Elephant Day 2022, the name of the first March of the Elephants sculpture has been chosen by a patient receiving care at St Giles Hospice.

The sculpture trail, due to take place throughout Summer 2023, will celebrate 40 years of St Giles providing care for local people and their families.

The name, Elvis, was chosen after Christine Hurden, 82, picked the suggestion out of a bucket – the entries, which were submitted by colleagues and visitors, were “all shook up” before the final name was drawn. Christine, who has three children, is currently a patient on the Inpatient Unit receiving pain management after being diagnosed with bone cancer last month.

She said: “This is the first time that I’ve seen the elephant sculpture since coming into the hospice – I certainly didn’t expect it to be this big! It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? What an extraordinary job the artist has done.”

Elvis was decorated by artist, Michelle Turton, who chose a “Keep Strong, Stay Positive” message to be displayed on the five-foot sculpture. Elvis is 1 of 60 elephant sculptures who will parade the streets and parks of Lichfield, Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield throughout Summer 2023. Each sculpture will be designed by local, regional and national artists, designers and illustrators – both well-known favourites and newly emerging talent.

Christine continued: “I’m honoured to have been asked to pick the name – he’s the first elephant to have been unveiled – you could say fame at last!”

“I feel incredibly lucky to be receiving care at St Giles – the staff here have been exceptionally attentive; the porridge has been fantastic too! St Giles has such a superb history of caring for people and their families.

“My friends and family can visit Elvis next year knowing that I played a part in choosing what he would be called – what a lovely memory.”

Zoe Wright, Events Manager at St Giles Hospice, said: “It’s so touching that Christine has picked the name of the first elephant to be unveiled for our March of the Elephants sculpture trail as money raised from the trail will help support patients like Christine and their families.”

What do you think about our elephant’s new name? We “can’t help falling in love” with him more and more every time we see him in the entrance to our hospice.

To find out more about the 2023 March of the Elephants sculpture trail and how you can get involved, visit www.marchoftheelephants.co.uk.