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Project information

Ellie the Eel

We’re raising vital funds for the infamous Eel who can be seen parading the streets of Ely on Eel Day. Each year Ellie needs a little TLC, and in 2019 we want to do this by running free workshops and activities for local school children, families and seniors. Your donation will reEELy help!

February 2019 - May 2019

Charity information: Babylon ARTS (operated by ADEC)

Babylon ARTS (operated by ADEC) logo
  • Need


    In 2004 Babylon ARTS (formerly known as ADEC) and Visit Ely worked together to create an Eel Parade as part of the first ever Eel Day. Ellie the Eel, and her friends, have made an appearance every Eel Day for the past 14 years. Each year there are costs around making, organising, storing and repairs which must be covered. 2019 will be the 15th Eel Day Parade, and without raising these vital funds we won’t be able to bring Ellie back to life.


    Over the years hundreds of children have been involved in creative workhops, eel-inspired activities and puppet making, and thousands of local people have enjoyed the resulting spectacle. We want to continue this tradition and have ambitious plans for 2019 to involve local school children, families and seniors. There will be artist led workshops, social activities and a bigger, brighter parade spectacle for Eel Day.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To engage children and young people in Ely in positive activities in their community


    » Workshops will take place to give children and young people the opportunity to get involved.

    What success will look like

    We will record the number of children and young people engaged in activities and invite their feedback.

    Aim 2

    To celebrate the heritage of Ely and the significance of Eels


    » Eel Day and the history of the city will be used as the theme and uniting thread that runs through the project.

    What success will look like

    We will document the project through film and photography, and invite feedback from participants, visitors and audience.

    Aim 3

    To offer opportunities for local people of all ages to learn new creative skills


    » Artist-led workshops, activities and drop in sessions will be on offer to local people.

    What success will look like

    We will document the project and participant experiences and invite feedback from those who have worked on developing new skills.

  • Impact


    The project will help to keep alive the tradition of Ellie and the Eel Day Parade. The workshops and participatory activities offer local people the chance to get involved and learn new skills. The intention is to involve volunteers who may be able to take a more active role in future activities.


    Babylon ARTS are experienced in running artist-led community projects including full risk assessment for activities. A good project plan and links with local people will ensure we make the right connections to generate interest and make the project as success. As for any outdoor activities we will have a inclement weather contingency plan to minimise the impact of any bad weather.


    We will send bulletin updates to donors to report on progress, but also to invite involvement in activities if they wish. In addition there will be a communications plan to support the project including press releases, social media updates and a newsletter.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £1,960 Artist led workshops Running 7 artist-led workshops for young people
      £940 Community activities Organising a series of 8 community activities running up to the parade including drop-in sessions
      £660 Materials Materials for workshops, community activities and construction of the puppet
      £200 Promotion Printed material to promote workshops and community engaged activities
      £240 Venue hire Contribution to venue hire (some venue use is offered in kind)
  • Background


    Rich in history, Ely was the stronghold of Hereward the Wake, home to Oliver Cromwell and is famous for its magnificent Norman cathedral. Ely is a small city that has undergone rapid growth in recent years, with a significant amount of new housing development. Opportunities to celebrate and unite the community are really valuable, and the Eel Day Parade is such a strong and positive example of this.


    Local people of all ages will have an opportunity to connect with the project. There will be workshops targets at children, young people and families. There will also be opportunities for seniors and the wider community to get involved.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Babylon ARTS (formerly ADEC) has been responsible for creating, animating, organising and storing Ellie the Eel since the first Eel Day in 2004. We know the challenges, and have the local connection and the passion to make the project a real success.

    Since our charity formed in 1994, we have planned, managed and delivered a wide range of projects for community benefit. We don't receive regular funding and are looking for support to continue our valuable work in the city and beyond.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Florence Tong

    Head of Project Delivery

Ellie the Eel