Read Jackie's story about being a volunteer Trailmaker this summer

Wednesday 28th July 2021

As the Official Presenting Partner for Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, our new homes arm Westerhill Homes has encouraged colleagues to take part in whichever way they can. Some have been walking the trails whilst others have got on the bikes to visit the Elmers.

Elmer’s Great Big Heart of Kent Parade is a charity art trail in support of Heart of Kent Hospice, taking place in Maidstone this summer. 51 Elmers, all individually designed by amateur and professional artists,  and 30 baby elephants decorated by schools, are on parade around Maidstone until 22nd August. At the end of the Parade the baby elephants will return to their schools, and the large Elmers will be auctioned to raise funds for Heart of Kent Hospice.

The Hospice team asked for volunteer Trailmakers to help in various locations, on the trail or in one of their two temporary shops, whilst the 9 week trail is live.  Jackie, who works for our civil engineering arm CCE (Chartway Civil Engineering),  decided to answer the call and here’s what she has told us about being a Trailmaker.

‘I decided to become volunteer Trailmaker for Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade as I wanted to support our sister company Westerhill Homes who are closely involved with the event, CCE whom I work for,  and Heart of Kent Hospice which is an amazing local charity. 

CCE has sponsored ‘Zebrelmer’ who is at Huntsman’s Lane in Maidstone, and is really fun, and even has an orange mane which is our logo colour! I’ve been working in one of the shops which has all the Elmer merchandise in it;  I love meeting families who are on the trail, the children and the adults too are getting so much enjoyment from finding all the different Elmers.  I’ve been at The Elephant House in Fremlins Walk, and there’s such a friendly atmosphere. We are hearing lots of very poignant stories from visitors who have personal connections with the Hospice, it really makes you feel proud to be representing them in a small way.

People from the local area and from much further afield are coming to Maidstone to walk the trail, it’s a great day out, I have also walked much of the trail in my volunteer role, chatting to the public about the Elmers and the Hospice. I even met my old neighbour who I hadn’t seen for many years, it’s been a lovely way to meet people.

Most of my volunteer shifts have been in my own time but CCE  has allowed me to do some within my working hours,  as we all feel it’s important to help in what is an amazing event for the community and the charity we support. I’d thoroughly recommend becoming a Trailmaker, it’s not too late to volunteer as there are still shifts to be covered, I have got so much out of this experience’.

The photograph shows Jackie in her Trailmakers Tee-shirt outside the The Elephant House at Fremlins Walk,  with one of the Westerhill Homes Elmers, ‘Where’s Elmer’ created by ‘Where’s Wally’ creator Martin Handford.

If you are interested in finding out more about Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade, please visit www.elmermaidstone, you can also find out more information on how to become a Trailmaker as well.

For further information about Westerhill Homes and Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent parade click here:

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