A baby elephant with a special meaning has missed its friends so much that it has stomped over to join the Herd In The City art trail.
The special elephant, called ‘Headspace’, was created by a group of children and young people at Little Havens in memory of loved ones who have died.
This remarkable bonus sculpture isn’t on the app because it was going to stay with the Little Havens Care Team but has since decided to march on over to the Havens Hospices Prittlewell Shop in Prince Avenue alongside Norman and Trunky McChalkface to be adored by trail-goers until the trail ends on Monday 4 September.
‘Headspace’ was created during a therapeutic support group run by Little Havens’ Wellbeing Team for children who have experienced the death of a loved one at Havens Hospices. It empowers them to explore the impact of their loss and process their grief through art, mindfulness and play.
During one of their sessions, the children talked about their ‘special person’ and how they feel when they think about them. They were then given the freedom to decorate a baby elephant sculpture however they wanted.
Many of the children, ranging from the age of 6-8, said they felt sad and angry when they thought about the death of their loved one and felt blue best demonstrated the colour for sad and red was angry. Others chose colours that remind them of their special person, with one section being described as ‘a galaxy of feelings’ because ‘there were so many feelings and they all mixed together’.
Once dried, the children shared what they had created with their parents and grandparents to stimulate conversation about grief – the ‘elephant in the room’. The children and adults then added some words to the elephant using paint pens to create a collaborative final elephant.
Art and creative therapy are valuable tools to help children express thoughts and feelings that can be too hard to verbalise. Creative techniques like painting open up conversations with children and often evoke memories of their loved one who has died.
Herd In The City’s 46 large elephant sculptures and baby elephants have stomped into the streets of the Southend-on-Sea, Shoeburyness and Leigh-on-Sea and will be in place until Monday 4 September. After the trail ends, the large sculptures will be auctioned to raise money for Havens Hospices.
Havens Hospices provides specialist care and support for people of all ages living with incurable conditions and their families. This care and support includes everyone, extending to partners, family and friends to make sure the right support is there for patients and the people who matter to them, where and when they need it.
The care is provided absolutely free of charge and is only made possible thanks to donations and fundraising initiatives such as Herd In The City.
Trail-goers can purchase a map from our Havens Hospices charity shop and other venues, including the Pier Information Centre, The Forum, Leigh-on-Sea Library and Herd HQ at The Royals Shopping Centre. There is also a ‘Herd In The City’ app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play now.
Keep up to date with the herd at www.herdinthe.city.