Charity rides to award success on back of an elephant

18th December 2017

The charity blowing the trumpet for all who fundraise for Sheffield Children's Hospital got its own well-deserved fanfare last week.

Last summer's Herd of Sheffield elephant sculpture trail saw its innovators, The Children's Hospital Charity, win the Special Recognition Award at the prestigious Sheffield Business Awards for its significant contribution to the city's community and economy. More than 900 people from the best of the city's businesses cheered as TCHC's unstinting work for one of the city's greatest institutions pipped two other hardworking charities, the Cathedral Archer Project and the Work-Wise Foundation, plus the CEO of Museums Sheffield, an organiser of the hugely popular Great Sheffield Art Show and even the illustrious Cutlers' Company to the title. The Herd of Sheffield was one of the biggest public art events the city has ever seen. It captured the imagination of thousands of residents and visitors and drew them into the city centre's parks and open spaces. The auction of elephant sculptures which followed raised over £400,000 for a life-saving Multipurpose Fluoroscopy System. The equipment, which was installed at the hospital this June, obtains moving images from inside a patient's body, enabling very rapid diagnosis and treatment. The charity's director David Vernon Edwards, accepted the award from sponsors Vine Hotels. It as a rare accolade for the hugely popular charity, which has been supporting what is one of only four stand-alone children's hospitals in the UK since 1976. TCHC now raises £3 million a year to fund things the NHS doesn't cover - additional life-saving equipment and vital research projects, and creating a more comfortable, child-friendly environment. It has previously received recognition via a Creating Better Futures Award for its partnership with Sheffield Wednesday and The Herd of Sheffield campaign won it special recognition at last year's Voluntary Action Sheffield Awards. Commented Vernon Edwards: -We took a huge risk when we launched the Herd campaign. Nothing like it had been done before. But it turned the city into a tourist destination, even for its own people. We and the hospital are immensely grateful to all whose imagination it caught. -Everyone who loved our elephants, get ready We are planning another trail in 2019. The Sheffield Business Awards are run by Sheffield Chamber. BBC Look North presenter Harry Gration hosted the gala ceremony at Ponds Forge on December 7. Elevation Recruitment Group returned as headline sponsor for the eighth year.

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