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1 all 3 cat sideAlfie is the creation of artist Helen Pittick, who inspired by traditional children’s nursery rhyme Hey Diddle Diddle, created a stunning illustration that appeals to young and old.

Helen comments; “Alfie is the magic cow that when he’s not on parade and midnight falls, when the cat starts to play his fiddle he jumps the moon for fun. The design features a night time scene with lots of stars, a big happy ginger tabby cat playing the fiddle with musical notes and words of the rhyme floating in the night sky, with a big gold smiling moon on one side. I thoroughly enjoyed painting him and the reaction of children so far has been amazing”.

~9340408Helen also took inspiration from Colin Banyard, Chairman of the Kilbride Group who have sponsored the cow. Helen continues “Colin gave me a brief that the cow should be a theme for children, he wanted a design that children could interact with. I also thought it would be good to keep a cow related theme that would also tie in”.

CowParade is the world’s largest public art event which is seeing lots of brightly decorated fibreglass cows placed in popular landmarks across Surrey this summer. The idea is that each cow is ‘Sponsored’ by a business, school or charity and decorated by a local artist. A specially designed app, created by digital design agency Akiko Design, is free to download from cowparadesurreyhills.com and will allow you to ‘check in’ to each cow as it’s found. You’ll discover lots about each cow, be able to win rosettes, take part in quizzes and more. Those who find the most cows will be entered into a prize draw to win a luxury Kuoni holiday for two to Mauritius!

cow 3The autumn will see the cows auctioned off for charity. Each cow sponsor gets to choose a charity of their own to benefit from half of the auction proceeds, with the other 50 per cent going to the Surrey Hills Trust Fund established in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey to conserve and protect the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Alfie will raise funds for local children’s hospice charity Shooting Star Chase and Kidney Research UK. Shooting Star Chase has hospices in Guildford and Hampton and cares for babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families across London and Surrey. Kidney Research UK, is the leading national charity dedicated to research that will lead to better treatments and cures for those with kidney disease.

~0785746Colin Banyard, Chairman of the Kilbride Group comments; “This very worthy project originated from a group of people in the village where I live and I was very happy to support it as the cows when finished will raise a smile whilst doing good”.

Simon Beresford, Head of Community Fundraising at Shooting Star Chase, said: “We’re delighted the Kilbride Group are sponsoring a cow at CowParadeSurrey in aid of Shooting Star Chase and are so grateful for the support of such a great local business.

8a shooting star closer“It’s a real privilege to be involved with” such an exciting project and to have Alfie take pride of place at our Hampton-based hospice, Shooting Star House. He is a real spectacle for the staff and children at the hospice, as well passers-by and the cow spotters who are using the app!

“The artwork by artist, Helen, is beautiful and it’s great that Shooting Star Chase will benefit not only from funds from the auction, but also from the fantastic awareness raised.”

Alfie has now been put to graze at Shooting Star House hospice in Hampton. Make sure you go and spot him behind the gates of the hospice and ‘check in’ using the CowParade Surrey app. Please don’t ring the doorbell to get a closer look – the nurses and carers are busy caring for children!