Sunderland businesses encouraged to get on the elephant trail

The Bridges
(L to R) Lucy Malarkey (Gentoo), Marie Liston (SCS), Sharon Appleby (Sunderland BID), Samantha Czwordon-Auld (The Bridges), Naomi Osborne (The Bridges)

SUNDERLAND’S leading organisations have joined the herd to support one of the region’s most exciting summer events – and are now hoping to encourage other businesses to get on board.

Elmer’s Great North Parade is the follow up to the highly successful Great North Snowdogs trail held in 2016, which along with raising around £367,000 for St Oswald’s Hospice, brought a major economic boost to the region.

And now with a second trail featuring 50 uniquely decorated Elmers set to be on view across the North East from 21 August to 1 November, Sunderland companies are pledging their support.

Sunderland BID, the Bridges, sofa and carpet specialist, ScS and Gentoo are funding elephants, recognising the massive boost huge visitor numbers will mean to the city.

And now they are hoping that other businesses will follow their lead and help to grow the number of elephants the city has to offer.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, believes being part of Elmer’s Great North Parade is massively important.

“We know that the snowdogs boosted the region’s economy by more than £16m and brought 676,000 visitors to the trail, many of whom came to see the Sunderland dogs,” she said.

“This is why it is vital that businesses in the city get behind this year’s event to ensure we get a giant share of visitors to see the Sunderland elephants.”

Her words were echoed by Samantha Czwordon-Auld, marketing and communications manager at the Bridges.

“We know how popular our snowdogs were, so we didn’t hesitate in getting behind Elmer’s Great North Parade,” she said.

“And we would really like to encourage other businesses to sponsor an elephant to ensure that we have a good number in the city to give people a reason to visit.”

Lucy Malarkey, Gentoo’s Customer Director, added: “Elmer’s Great North Parade is a fantastic project for encouraging people from across the region to visit Sunderland and see all of the great things it has to offer.

“We’re really excited to be involved and look forward to working with other local businesses to bring Elmer to the city.”

Marie Liston, Corporate Services Director at SCS said the company was also delighted to be giving its support.

“We’re proud to be based in Sunderland and proud to be sponsoring the Elmer Trail,” she said.

“This is a real opportunity for Sunderland businesses to give visitors a reason to visit the city this summer; as well as raising much needed funds for a wonderful North East children’s charity.”

Further information about the parade is available at

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