Croydon Stands Tall: What is it and who is involved?

Crystal Palace has designed its very own 8-foot giraffe to support the campaign  (Crystal Palace FC)
Crystal Palace has designed its very own 8-foot giraffe to support the campaign (Crystal Palace FC)

A magnificent large-scale public art trail has opened, as part of Croydon’s Capital of Culture celebrations, Croydon Stands Tall, where you can follow your own safari to spot 60 giraffes across the town.

Supporting the celebrations is Crystal Palace Football Club, which has designed its own eight-foot giraffe, decorated by MurWalls, the same team behind Wilfried Zaha’s mural.

Croydon Stands Tall celebrates the diversity and creative spirit of Croydon while raising funds for Crisis, the national charity working to end homelessness, which has a centre in the heart of Croydon which players from the club have previously visited.

The South Londonborough has planned a year-long celebration of Croydon’s unique identity, diverse communities, and rich heritage, culture, and creativity.

What is Croydon Stands Tall and who is involved?

Until Friday, October 27, you will be able to spot an array of unique giraffes roaming Croydon town centre as part of the Croydon Stands Tall celebrations.

Each of the 30 large giraffe sculptures has been decorated by an artist and sponsored by a local business.

Schools and community groups are involved, too, coming together from across the borough to create 30 small giraffe sculptures which will be displayed in several indoor venues throughout the town.

While Crystal Palace Football Club’s giraffe features several crests across different periods of the club’s history, and will find a home at Boxpark, East Croydon.

Matthew Sims, chief executive of Croydon Town Centre Business Improvement District Ltd, said: “Croydon, a place defined by its people who stand tall at all times, is home to such a rich and diverse culture. Through our artistic partnership with Wild in Art, the Croydon Stands Tall trail will bring art and culture to the people enhancing this year’s London Borough of Culture, This is Croydon.

“This August, our streets will come alive with 60 magnificent uniquely designed giraffe sculptures, ranging from small to towering, creating a vibrant and spectacular experience,” he said.

The large giraffes will be auctioned to raise money for Crisis Skylight Croydon at the end of the trail, while the small giraffes will be returned to their schools and groups.

Over the next 10 weeks, supporters and their families are welcome to take part in the full trail, where you can search for all 60 giraffes. You’ll also have the help of a free dedicated trail map and app, soon to be available, which will unveil the colourful creatures at every turn, providing exciting rewards and fact-finding missions along the way.

A smaller four-foot version of the giraffe will be displayed at the Fanzone at Selhurst Park.

Matthew Sims added: “This free event will unite our community, inviting everyone in Croydon —residents, workers, and visitors — to partake in the joy and celebration of our exceptional town on a massive scale.”

To end the trail, Croydon will host a special farewell weekend where all the giraffe sculptures will be displayed together. The club’s sculpture will then be auctioned in aid of national charity Crisis, raising vital funds for the charity’s Croydon Skylight centre, which offers vital help to those who need it with housing, jobs, health, and wellbeing support, in a bid to help people leave homelessness behind for good.

“Croydon Stands Tall is a brilliant project which we are proud to support, with our very own special giraffe. The art trail is a great way to spend a few hours for local residents and families, but it will also attract visitors to the area as part of the London Borough of Culture celebrations,” Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish said.

“Our players have visited Crisis Skylight in Croydon before and hopefully the auction at the end of the project will raise a significant amount for their important and valuable work.”