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2 standing  kneelingA life-size colourful cow, hand-painted by children supported by Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity, is grazing at the Swan Centre in Leatherhead as part of CowParade Surrey.

Rainbow Trust, which supports families who have a child with a life threatening or terminal illness, has launched a competition to name the vibrant animal, which was officially unveiled last week. The charity is asking people to leave their ‘name a cow’ suggestions on its social media pages.*

The fibreglass cow will move to Reigate Priory Park on 26 July, before grazing at the Wings & Wheels event at Dunsfold on 27 and 28 August.

The animal was designed by Weymouth artist Vikki Gibson at the Weymouth Art Asylum on May 24. Siblings from families supported by Rainbow Trust painted multi-coloured hand prints on one side, representing the charity’s support of children and families. The other side depicts all the elements that make up a rainbow.

cow 1Artist Vikki Gibson first heard about CowParade 12 years ago while doing her teacher training. “I loved the idea so much I had all my students make papier mache cows and paint them,” she said. “It sparked the children’s imagination and they created some amazing artworks. To be involved as an artist is a dream come true. I have loved every minute of being involved, from the moment they arrived to my studio.

“For the Rainbow Trust cow I created a magical landscape of fields, flowers, trees and the sun in vibrant colours of the rainbow. The design was intended to be fun, optimistic and hopeful even when things don’t go according to plan.”

CowParade is the world’s largest public art event in which more than 60 cows are placed in popular landmarks across Surrey this summer. Each cow is sponsored by a business, school or charity and decorated by a local artist.

cow 2Leatherhead based commercial aerospace firm, GA Telesis, is sponsoring the Rainbow Trust cow. GA Telesis UK Ltd, Senior VP and Managing Director, Nigel Christie said: “We are delighted to sponsor this cow for Rainbow Trust. It is an amazing cause and it was without hesitation that we donated our cow to them. We look forward to seeing it out and about in the coming months.”

“Emma Haines, Director of Marketing and Fundraising at Rainbow Trust, said: “We are thrilled our wonderfully vibrant cow has arrived in Leatherhead and are very excited to watch it being paraded around Surrey. Special thanks again to GA Telesis for their generosity in sponsoring it for us. As a local charity working in the community we are delighted to be involved in this year’s CowParade Surrey.”

The cows will be auctioned off for charity in the autumn. Proceeds will be split between the cow sponsor’s charity and 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.

4 standing and kneeling frontThe Surrey Hills Cow Parade is run by Community Interest Company, Surrey Hills Enterprises. Tim Metson, CowParade Surrey Leader, said: “CowParade Surrey provides a fantastic opportunity to not only raise lots of money for charity but also to have fun and engage with a huge audience. We encourage everyone to come and visit the cows in Surrey throughout the summer, each one is unique and beautifully crafted by some really talented artists.”

*Rainbow Trust needs your help naming the cow. Post your ideas on our Facebook page facebook.com/RainbowTrust or tweet us at @RainbowTrustCC. If you spot the Rainbow cow on your travels, take a selfie and tweet #COWPARADESURREY @RainbowTrustCC @CowParadeSurrey.

A specially designed app, free to download and allows you to find and virtually collect each cow. Discover lots about each cow, 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.

Rainbow Trust is a national charity which offers emotional and practical support for the whole family; from their child’s diagnosis, during treatment and, if needed, through bereavement and beyond. It relies almost entirely on voluntary donations and thanks to its generous supporters helps over 2,000 families in England.

Click here to download the CowParade Surrey App