Twenty Gruffalo toys were sent on a global journey by the beloved children’s author Julia Donaldson CBE to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Gruffalo book in 2019.
The toys are part of the Global Gruffalo project, created as part of the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 to celebrate the project’s patron Julia Donaldson CBE, and are sponsored by 20 local Horsham businesses.
They set out on their journeys as Horsham District Council launched its Year of Culture celebrations at the beginning of January, and in the first six months of the year, their travels have taken them far and wide.
They have been spotted as far afield as Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Italy, America and the Caribbean Islands.
Their antics have included enjoying ice cream in Florence with sponsors Macmillan Publishers, high fiving Park Run runners with the Forestry Commission, touring with the Birmingham Stage Company and visiting many other theatres UK wide with The Capitol, the Horsham Rotary Club Gruffalo has visited Portugal with world-renowned violinist Andrew Bernardi and by far the best-educated Gruffalo is the toy sponsored by Brock Taylor Estate Agents who has visited almost every primary school across the District.
Sponsor Creative Technology even treated their Gruffalo to a performance of Tom Odell on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival this weekend (29 June).
The Gruffalo sponsors have been equally busy recording their Gruffalos along their journeys which can be seen on the official Global Gruffalo website.
Commenting on the success of the Year of Culture’s Gruffalo sponsorship, Horsham District Council Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure said:
“Global Gruffalo is such a fun way of promoting the Horsham District Year of Culture 2019 and celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Gruffalo.
“I am delighted at the success of this sponsorship which has given so much publicity to our 20 local business and community group sponsors.
“We have lots of other sponsorship opportunities available for special Year of Culture events so don’t hesitate to contact our team by email at [email protected] if you are interested.”
Commenting on the antics of her Gruffalos Julia Donaldson CBE said:
“When I created the purple-prickled character I never imagined that cuddly versions of him would become such globe-trotters, or become familiar with so many different forms of transport.
“There have been Gruffalos spotted on bikes, on skis and skateboards, on a boat trip down the Danube, in the cockpit of a plane, and even aboard the QE2.
“Global Gruffalo has been a great way of promoting the Horsham District Year of Culture, and I look forward to following the exploits of these furry ambassadors over the rest of the year.”
Sponsors of the Gruffalos are Gatwick Airport, Leonardslee Lakes and Gardens, Magic Light, Macmillan Publishing, Swan Walk Shopping Centre, Chestnut Treehouse Hospice, Saxon Weald, Foresters Friendly Society, Forestry Commission, Travel Counsellors, Creative Technology, The Capitol Horsham, Horsham Rotary Club, Brock Taylor, Global Financial, ByJove Media, Tomfoolery, Horsham District Council and Creative Assembly.
If you spot one of the Gruffalos when you are out and about why not join in the fun using the hashtag #GlobalGruffalo on Instagram and Twitter.