A fostering and adoption service has confirmed it will be sponsoring one of the Elmer sculptures set to parade around Ipswich next year.

Suffolk Fostering and Adoption has teamed up with Suffolk artist Lois Cordelia for the Elmer, which aims to celebrate Suffolk’s children.

During a launch event at Suffolk County Council on Thursday afternoon as part of National Adoption Week, Suffolk Fostering and Adoption said Lois will be taking inspiration from stories of children in care in her designs and celebrate the diverse array of families in the county.

Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council cabinet member for children’s services and skills, said: “I am delighted that Suffolk Fostering and Adoption are taking part in Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk and I hope it encourages families taking part in the trail, to take the time, to consider whether they could become foster carers or adopters.

“Elmer’s story celebrates diversity and helps those who feel that they don’t belong to see that they really do - to be themselves and to flourish in life. I believe this is also true for all the children we care for.”

“We are committed to offering high-quality support to secure a positive future for children through fostering and adoption and our priority is finding forever families for those children most in need.”

The Fostering and Adoption Elmer aims to raise awareness for the service,and the 850 youngsters across the county in its care.

Elmer’s Big Parade will hit the streets of Ipswich next summer, featuring around 50 Elmer the elephant sculptures dotted around town designed by various artists.

Each will have a different sponsor, and be part of a trail families can follow around the town.

The parade follows on from the inaugural trail, Pigs Gone Wild, held in 2016, and will once again be raising money and awareness for the work of St Elizabeth Hospice.

Norman Lloyd, campaign manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “We are so pleased that Suffolk Fostering and Adoption are working with Lois to create the design for their sculpture.

“We are sure that together they are going to develop a truly beautiful design which we hope will inspire people to find out more about this important service.”

To find out more about fostering and adoption, visit the website here.