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11th January 2022

St Helena Hospice launches new mascot named after hospice movement founder

Saunders the elephant mascot waving

St Helena Hospice has launched its new mascot, an elephant named Saunders, named after Dame Cicely Saunders, the founder of the modern hospice movement. 

The local charity asked its staff and volunteers for suggestions for its new mascot. The unanimous vote was for an elephant, as an elephant is commonly associated with people avoiding talking about dying and death after the ‘elephant in the room’ poem by Terry Kettering; and this is something St Helena Hospice is striving to change. 

The hospice decided to retire Dandy, its Lion mascot, last year after more than ten years of dedication to attending events, assembleys, and meeting local people to thank them for supporting the charity. 

Sarah Wilson, St Helena Hospice fundraising manager, said: “Following our rebrand a few years ago and celebrating our 35th anniversary last year, we felt it was time for Dandy to hang up his mane and to introduce a new mascot, to support us in our ambition to help more people achieve dignity and choice at the end of life.   

“A few years ago we launched our ‘don’t ignore the elephant in the room’ campaign to encourage people to talk about their wishes and choices for the end of life and record them on the My Care Choices Register. This is why we chose an elephant as a mascot – Saunders will continue to help us raise awareness of the benefits of having these important conversations to improve end of life care for local people.

“We hope everyone will enjoy meeting our new mascot. Saunders will start making appearances at events very soon so look out for us when you’re out and about!”

Follow St Helena Hospice on social media @StHelenaHospice to keep up to date with what Saunders is up to.


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