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The Friary Guildford supports Surrey Hills CowParade 2016

The Friary Guildford, the town's biggest shopping centre,has announced its support for Surrey Hills' CowParade by sponsoring its very own cow.

CowParade, the world's largest public art event, comes to Surrey this summer with brightly-coloured cows set to decorate the hills, farms, towns, schools and popular landmarks across the county.

The Friary Guildfordhas named Thomas Duncan Bell, owner of a fashion and clothing business, as the artist for the project. Thomas benefits from having strong connections within Surrey and Guildford and will be adopting Oakleaf as the chosen charity.Thomas is currently working with the graphic design and fashion students from Farnborough College of Technology to create inspired designs for what The Friary Guildford say will be an “extremely well dressed show stopping cow”.

Suffering from a bi-polar disorder himself, Thomas is also a mental health ambassador for Oakleaf who are based in Guildford and offer much needed vocational training for people with severe mental health conditions. The charity deliver training and work experience in upholstery, horticulture and IT, enabling clients to gain new skills, as a first step on their return to the workplace.
Over the last three years, Oakleaf has also delivered a programme of social inclusion activities (ranging from literacy and numeracy sessions, to guitar lessons, meal nights and a Greenhouse Growing Group). Alongside its counselling services and job seeking support, these activities have all benefited hundreds of local people.
Oakleaf has been confirmed as the base for the new Safe Haven Cafe in Guildford opening in April. The drop-in centre will offer a safe, calm and friendly welcome for people and carers in need of emotional and mental support providing an invaluable safe haven to sufferers in Guildford.
Tim Metson, Cow Parade Leader, said: "We’re delighted that The Friary Guildfordis supportingthis unique initiative. As it is located in the heart of the town alongside the city’s famous High Street, it is the perfect spot to showcase a cow. With over fifty stores spread out across three floors and open seven days a week there is no excuse not to pop in and visit The Friary Guildford’s own cow.”

CowParade Organisers are encouraging individuals, companies, schools and other organisations to sponsor a life-sized cow, with the option to decorate it themselves or source an artist.The cows will then be displayed around the county before being herded to the inaugural Surrey Hills Food, Drink and Music Festival on September 3. The pick of the herd will go to auction at a gala ceremony in London later in the year.

Proceeds will be shared equally between the Surrey Hills Trust Fund, established in partnership with the Community Foundation for Surrey to conserve and protectSurrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty which supports local community projects and enterprise schemes, and the individual charities selected by the cow sponsors.

Tim added: “Surrey Hills CowParade 2016 gives sponsors the chance to connect with millions of people as the cows will feature on a specially designed APP where their GPS location can be tracked and members of the public will be able to ‘check in’ to find out more information about the sponsor and charity. It therefore offers a huge, unique PR and marketing opportunity that should generate international interest. The trick will be to create a cow that will raise lots of money at auction!”

CowParade was born in Switzerland in 1998 and has been staged in more than 80 cities and towns worldwide. Over the years 3,000 cows have been decorated by more than 5,000 artists. CowParade New York had 450 cows and was seen worldwide by 45 million people. The highest-grossing cow was created by designer John Rocha for CowParade Dublin in 2003 — studded with thousands of pieces of Waterford Crystal it was auctioned for $146,000
— quite a lot of moo-lah indeed.

For more information on how to take part call the Surrey Hills CowParade team on 01483 661150 or visit:

About Surrey Hills
The Surrey Hills is designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, one of 38 nationally protected landscapes in England and Wales. The Hills stretch across a quarter of the county of Surrey and include the chalk slopes of the North Downs from Farnham in the west to Oxted in the east and extend south to the deeply wooded Greensand Hills which rise in Haslemere. The Surrey Hills offers some of South East England's most beautiful and accessible countryside. Famous beauty spots include Box Hill, Leith Hill and the Devil's Punch Bowl. You'll discover an extensive footpath network, open commons, breathtaking views, attractive market towns and villages and much more. The CowParade will not only help to raise awareness of this special landscape but also safeguard its future through donations to the Surrey Hills Trust Fund. For further information on the Surrey Hills please visit

For more information, please see:

30th March 2016