It has been over five months since the owls from St Elizabeth Hospice’s Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 took flight from Suffolk’s county town and the independent charity is reflecting on a summer of success which brought art, colour, and creativity to Ipswich. The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 saw 115 ornately decorated owl sculptures make their nests throughout Ipswich, between June and September, as part of the biggest free art event in Suffolk.

Featuring a range of designs, the 50 Big Hoots and 65 Little Hoots were part of the third art trail brought to Ipswich by the hospice, in partnership with creative producers Wild in Art, following the success of Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019. The summer’s trail was brought to its culmination by the Big Hoot auction, which alone raised over £160,000 for the hospice – the equivalent to funding four, full-time hospice nurses providing clinical care and support to patients and their families for one year.

In total, the funds raised by the Big Hoot 2022 stands at £270,316, a record-breaking amount, surpassing the money raised by previous art trails hosted by the hospice alongside Wild in Art – Pigs Gone Wild 2016 and Elmer’s Big Parade Suffolk 2019. Now, following results collated from the Big Hoot user app and a survey of Big Hoot Ipswich trail participants conducted by Zing Insights, St Elizabeth Hospice can release details of the art trail’s impact on the charity and the Ipswich community:

  • £270,316 total raised by the trail – through the auction, sponsorship and corporate support
  • A projected £2.3 million benefit to the town centre through increased footfall brought by the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022*
  • 315,900 people took part in the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022
  • 60 schools and youth groups raised over £45,000 for the hospice through the art trail
  • 80% of trail visitors felt the Big Hoot created a sense of civic pride and community
  • Over 405,000 sculptures collected by supporters using the Big Hoot app
  • More than 13,005 miles walked by supporters taking part in the trail, with an average 5,556 steps per user**

Survey participants also praised the trail for giving a “boost to local business and getting people back into the town centre” and for being “a family friendly experience with beautiful artwork.”

Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager at St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “The Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 brought so much creativity and fun to Ipswich last summer, while raising vital funds and awareness for the hospice.

“The art trail leaves a fantastic legacy which, as this data highlights, has had a positive impact on the town, St Elizabeth Hospice and the local community. We thank the community, local businesses and supporters for getting behind the Big Hoot and helping make sure it was an ‘owltastic’ success.”

Funds raised by the Big Hoot Ipswich 2022 will go towards St Elizabeth Hospice, which improves life for people in East Suffolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney living with a progressive or life-limiting illness

Each year it costs around £12.9 million to deliver all St Elizabeth Hospice’s services, with 70% of these funds raised annually through St Elizabeth Hospice’s retail shops, fundraising teams, donations, gifts and Wills, while 30% comes from services commissioned by the NHS.

For more information about St Elizabeth Hospice visit: Read more about the hospice’s art trail by visiting: 

*This is an extrapolated figure based on engagement estimates and does not represent a full economic impact.

** Data applicable to trail visitors who used the Big Hoot app.