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Following on from our challenge to Holy Trinity Catholic school in Parkwood to help them raise funds for Heart of Kent Hospice as part of the Elmer school challenge, Rap Interiors was proud and overwhelmed by the entries for our Elmer the Elephant competition throughout February and March.

Rap were approached earlier this year by local school Holy Family Catholic School in a bid to raise money for the Elmer’s Big Heart of Kent Parade which they were taking part in.

The event itself, organised by Heart of Kent Hospice, sees local primary schools and business from Kent create their own individual and uniquely painted baby elephant statues which are to be displayed throughout a nature trail from the town centre to the river park and beyond throughout the summer.

You can read all about it in our previous blog post here

Why did we get involved?

Helping others in our community forms a big part of who Rap Interiors are. We are a family business established since 1988 and have a strong ethos for “giving back”. In 2018 and 2019 we provided food and gifts for the Homeless in Maidstone.

This proved to be a huge success in 2019, where we fed over 360 people along with presents for all, supported by other Kent companies, suppliers and schools – Holy Family being one of them.

Mellissa Barrington from the HTC school approached us with their Elmer fundraiser and asked if there was any way we could be of assistance.

Of course, we were happy to oblige and decided to run a poetry competition throughout the school, pledging to donate £2 for every child who entered. This would help raise £400 towards their £700 target.

The Competition

The loveable patchwork elephant, created by David McKee, is learnt about in schools across the nation with its themes of positively, diversity, inclusivity, courage and friendship.

We wanted the children to be inspired by this and thought the best way was to produce poems, where they could be creative with words and see beyond the colourful elephant, and what he meant to them.

The poem competition was open for participation throughout the school for all age groups to enter in which the best from each year (reception to year 6) would win a prize which was judged by our Head Office team.

Overall, we had 168 students enter, each year group taking a different approach on their poem.

Year R focused on simply why they liked Elmer.

Year 1 why was Elmer the best

Year 2 had to write an Acrostic along with their own drawings of Elmer

Year 3 transformed the story into a poem shaped like Elmer

Year 4 focused on Acrostic poems with the word Elmer

Year 5 looked at the key messages of Elmer including family and friendship

Year 6 wrote poems along the theme of why it was okay to be different

With such diversity of style and entries everyone at Rap got involved from the projects team to accounts.

Carolyne Colegate from Rap Marketing was impressed and inspired when she helped looked at the Year R and older year entries.

The children’s entries were inspiring and the words so deep and meaningful. The children totally understood the meaning behind Elmer and what Elmer stands for. As well as thoughtful words there were amazing colourful designs submitted by the children. It was a pleasure to judge such wonderful poetry and designs

Narrowing it down to 7 winners ( for each year group ) our Commercial Director, Martyn Pilcher presented £10 vouchers to the winners, and sweets for all.

“For myself and Rap, it was fantastic to be involved with the school for the Elmer the Elephant poem competition.

The team in the office judged the poems, with each department looking at a different year group. The entries we received were amazing and we were invited to the school assembly to hand out the prizes.

We felt everyone was a winner, so we also handed out sweets to all those that took part throughout the school to celebrate.

The children were brilliant, so polite, happy and so engaged in the competition, it was a joy to meet them and be a part of the whole experience.”

Melissa from the Holy Family Catholic School adds

“From all of us here, a big “Thank you” to you all for your efforts and support towards our Elmer Fundraising event for the Heart of Kent Hospice. We received 29 colouring sheets of Elmer and 165 poems. We hope you enjoyed our celebration assembly on Friday and that our Children gave you a nice warm welcome.

We couldn’t have done it without the support of the fantastic local businesses and look forward to partnering with Rap Interiors again”

Now Just a Lick of Paint

Alongside our poems, local company Maidstone scaffolding were also supporting the school by sponsoring the competition to design the baby Elmer in which the children and a local artist will decorate. So Elmer arrived and needed painting and our favourite supplier Johnstones Maidstone donated the paint. Thanks to Craig and the team there.

Teaming up with local decorating centre, Johnstone’s we picked out the blacks, whites, blues, greens and yellows required for the elephant and donated it all to the school.

We can’t wait to see the end result and this elephant will be joining The herd of baby Elmers trail, coming to Maidstone from June 20th to August 20th and will help create a sense of unity among the young people in and around Maidstone, and also a great day out for families.

Overall we were delighted we could help Holy Family and Heart of Kent Hospice with this event, raising over £400 with the poem entries.

From taking part in careers fairs, school talks, work experience and charitable events, Rap Interiors support, like the Maplesden Noakes Dementia Café we are currently helping, we would be delighted to hear from you.

Rap Interiors – experts at creating fantastic workspaces … and helping the community

If you’re a school and want to find out how Rap Interiors could help you inspire the next generation then please contact or call us on 0333 600 1234.