Children’s storybook favourite, Elmer the Elephant, packed his trunk and headed to Gateshead to launch a special charity event.

The colourful character was at Saltwell Park with staff from St Oswald’s Hospice to officially launch Elmer’s Patchwork Parade – a fundraising family fun day on Saturday 6 July.

And children from St Peter’s RC Primary School were there to give him a great big Gateshead welcome.

The highlight of the 6 July event is a sponsored 3km parade through the park starting at 12 noon.

And, along with the chance to take part, visitors will be able to enjoy a lively carnival of entertainment with food, fairground rides, crafts, games and music throughout the day.

Families who come along can also meet Elmer and some of his friends ahead of Elmer’s Great North Parade – a 10-week long free public art trail across Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead, which starts on 21 August.

St Oswald’s Hospice senior fundraiser, Helen Alderson, hopes as many people as possible will sign up to take part in July’s Parade.

“As Elmer’s colourful character is the inspiration behind it, we hope families will go all out to turn up in their most colourful costumes, wave their homemade banners and have a really great day out,” she said.

Elmer’s Patchwork Parade will take place from 10am to 4pm, at Saltwell Park, Gateshead, on Saturday 6 July and everyone is welcome.

Tickets cost £8 for adults, £5 for children with free entry for those aged three and under and family tickets are priced at £22. Participants are encouraged to raise sponsorship through taking part, to support the work of St Oswald’s Children’s Hospice.

To sign up, or for more information, visit www.greatnorthelmer.co.uk/patchworkparade.