Giraffes march down Edinburgh street for charity

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A PARADE of giraffes took to the streets of Edinburgh yesterday (Thur) to celebrate local businesses and raise money for charity.

The 5ft figures were decorated in a range of different colours and styles to represent the 40 businesses in Stockbridge taking part.

Comedian Craig Hill launched the event which saw the giraffes marching with a little help from their owners.

They ranged from GI Giraffe – a giraffe decorated in army paint to represent Edinburgh City Boot Camps to Queen Elizabeth- and the regal giraffe decorated with a collar, pearls and a crown for The Bead Shop.

One of the giraffes was signed by Tears of a Giraffe author Alexander McCall Smith and another by the Scottish rugby team.

Eleanor Spens, owner of The Laurel Gallery, came up with the idea after she saw a giraffe outside her friend’s shop.

She said: “My friend Rhona, from another business called Kiss the Fish, has a giraffe outside her shop and I had the idea of doing a mini-version of the Cow Parade for Stockbridge.

“We both thought it seemed a fun way to get the businesses working together to raise the profile of Stockbridge which we felt is often overlooked.

“We have lovely independent shops which need as much help to keep their doors open as possible in this tough time, which in turn keeps our village looking good.

“We felt that if we combined it with a charity event then we could raise the profile of Stockbridge whilst raising money for charity.”

Rhona Johnston, owner of Kiss the Fish, said: “We had our giraffe outside the shop for a few weeks and it was attracting a lot of attention.

“It’s been fun. It’s certainly captured everybody’s attention and got everybody laughing I think.”

The giraffes are now being displayed in the shop windows for a month before being auctioned off with all the proceeds going to CHILDREN 1ST and LifeCare Edinburgh.

Giraffes were also purchased by businesses and donated to local schools and churches so they could also be involved in the parade.

Rebecca Milne, Regional Fundraiser for CHILDREN 1ST, said: “We’ve have been really looking forward to seeing the giraffes in all their decorated glory.

“The shop owners have been very creative with their designs and it’s been great to see everyone in the local community get behind the project.

“We are of course really thankful that they have chosen CHILDREN 1ST as one of the charities to benefit from this initiative.

“Money raised from the auction will help the children in Scotland that need our help the most.”

Stockbridge shops also stayed open late and offered customers special discounts and offers.

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