News and press releases

Elephant Project - Snorky, the elephant

We are incredibly delighted to announce that the name of the Elephant in the Elephant Packs, designed to help children to come to terms with a loved one living with a life-limiting condition, is SNORKY!!! 

Snorky won by capturing 54% of the polls. We can now reveal that it is our very own Claire Learner, PR & Communications Manager, who came up with the name. Well done, Claire.

When reviewing the Shortlist, our donor, Cabaret Vs Cancer, said this of the name Snorky:

"Snorky" promotes the non-gendering of toys and lets children infuse the personality they want on to their elephant.  It's also a nonsense word and works well with the phrase '... the elephant'.  It doesn't anthropomorphise the elephant as we think this is important for children's imagination and story-telling growth."

The children, asked by Caroline Leek, of the Fruitfly Collective, who designed the elephant, voted 'Snorky' as one of their favourites too.

The intention is that Snorky will evolve to become the Hospice Mascot.

History of the Elephant Project

Cabaret vs Cancer, who raise money to support those affected by cancer, kindly donated £7,000 to St Joseph’s Hospice in 2017.They felt very strongly that they wanted the money to go towards a project that would support children affected by bereavement, whether that be the loss of an immediate relative or friend. In light of this, Jody Spargo, Child and Family Counsellor at St Joseph’s, approached an organisation called the Fruitfly Collective, whose mission is to provide practical ways of solving problems that surround the communication of a serious health concern. They have worked extensively in trying to raise awareness of important, easily accessible information packs to help someone manage having a difficult conversation about health; particularly with children.

The result of this fantastic partnership is the Elephant Project; a creation of boxes that provide support and guidance when explaining the impact of a life-limiting condition to children dependent on a patient undergoing palliative care. The previous packs created by Fruitfly Collective have an animal logo (a tiger and a hedgehog). We felt that an elephant would be a good choice for our palliative care packs because of the strong family ties that elephants have. The packs are all about improving family communication. Elephants tend to stick to their friends and family, and mourn the death of loved ones. We love the way they link together trunk to tail, protecting the young of the group, keeping one another safe. Elephants are also associated with memory, and our packs will help families think about how they treasure their memories and remember their loved ones after they have gone.

The boxes come packed with resources to help with the handling of the situation, such as a cuddly elephant to hold when the child is worried or stressed, a keep calm kit that contains cards for writing words of advice, Dolly pegs designed to represent the members of the clinical team associated with the patient’s care; right down to hair and eye colour, and a school letter to help the child and carer communicate with the school about absence or loss of focus.

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