Secret Gromit unveiled as Simplyhealth opens new Bristol office
Today healthcare provider Simplyhealth opens the doors to its new six storey office, Simplyhealth House, which overlooks the Clifton Downs in Bristol. And, in the reception area will be a secret waiting to be unveiled to employees, ‘The Five a Day Dog’, purchased by the company last year at the Gromit Unleashed Auction for The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity. Employees will be presented with the permanent figure at an 11am unveiling, when creator and local artist, Laura Cramer will be in attendance.
We are very proud of our new building, which will provide a much brighter and spacious open plan working environment for our employees in Bristol. It provides a modern base for our private medical insurance operations that gives us the ability to expand in the future and this is an exciting moment for Simplyhealth. We have planned the move from James Tudor House on Victoria Street to Simplyhealth House meticulously and we’re absolutely confident that our customers will continue to enjoy the high levels of service that they have come to expect from Simplyhealth. We’re also really pleased to finally be able to show off our Gromit which we’ve been keeping secret for months. Many of the Gromits auctioned have now left the city so we’re proud to be able to keep this one, which was created by a local artist, here in Bristol in a place where passers by will be able to see him every day. It’s also a great gift for our employees to enjoy after the Gromit Unleashed project was so well received locally. The Five a Day Dog is a great representation of Simplyhealth with its health focussed design that will prove a talking point for guests coming to visit our new building.
The Five a Day Dog was inspired by the Renaissance painter Guiseppe Archimboldo, who, in the mid to late 1500’s, painted portraits of himself as a combination of fruit and vegetables. I thought it could be fun to play on the national guidelines of five fruit and vegetables a day, in a “Laura Ashley meets Cath Kidston” type design. There was also an underlying message or reminder of the need to eat well and healthily. I’m so pleased my Gromit has gone to a good home, living here in Bristol with a health focussed family who say I can visit anytime!
Simplyhealth House is built on the site of a derelict building that had been empty for some years. It’s the first building that Simplyhealth has developed and replaces the leased James Tudor House on Victoria Street, which it has occupied for the past 17 years. It’s designed to minimise energy use and carbon emissions and will have targets for using renewable energy sources such as solar panels.
Simplyhealth helps nearly four million people with their health through its range of health cash plans, dental plans and private medical insurance.
Laura Cramer lives and works in Bristol as a full time painter. She is best known locally for her colourful semi abstract cityscapes. In 2013, Laura designed and painted two Gromit sculptures for The Grand Appeal as part of its Gromit Unleashed project, to raise funds for the expansion of Bristol Children’s Hospital. The Five a Day Dog was sponsored by CJ Hole estate agents before being put to auction. The auction of the 80 Gromits raised a staggering £2.3million for the charity. Laura’s two Gromits contributed £47,000 towards the final figure.
Notes to Editor
Additional information about Laura Cramer and ‘The Five a Day Dog’:
1. Five a Day dog, was inspired by the renaissance artist Guiseppe Archimboldo who used fruit and veg imagery in his paintings to create self portraits. As Laura painted The Five a Day Dog in a public painting space, she had the additional challenge of keeping the sculpture’s identity (both design and name) secret. To this end, she referred to The Five a Day with the code name “Guisseppe
”2. Her initial design for The Five a Day Dog had cherries on his back toes. Once faced with the giant 5 ft sculpture, and having painted the cherries as planned, she then painted over them replacing them with large bunches of vine tomatoes. A pun like that was too good to overlook!
3. Inspired by her fellow Gromit Unleashed artist colleague Tom Berry, Laura was able to “sit” Gromit up on a large cushioned stool to enable her to access areas that were hard to get to. Grateful for this discovery, it took pressure off the daily backache and knee ache.
4. Laura’s design was chosen and sponsored by CJHole Estate Agents, who decided their Gromit would be located on Henleaze high street a few doors down from Lloyds, the local fruit and veg shop. Little did they know, that Laura also lives in Henleaze, and the fruit and vegetables she used as “models” for her Gromit, were purchased in the very same shop. The project was top secret right up until the launch of the Gromits, so nobody in Henleaze had any idea of what was going happen.Wallace & Gromit’s Grand AppealMulti-award winning Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal has raised over £25 million in support of sick children and babies in the children’s hospital and the Special Care Baby Unit at St Michael’s Hospital in Bristol. Founded in 1995, the Appeal continually invests in pioneering medical facilities, care and equipment in Bristol Children’s Hospital as well as arts, music and play programmes and accommodation for families.
Bristol Children’s Hospital is one of the UK’s leading children’s hospitals and treats young patients from across the South West, South Wales and beyond with life-threatening illnesses and serves as the paediatric intensive care centre for the whole South West region. The hospital is the regions specialist centre for a range of services including cardiac and renal treatment, complex surgeries and bone marrow transplants, treating over 100,000 patients every year.
Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal needs to raise over £1 million every year to ensure young patients from the South West and beyond have access to the very best healthcare possible at Bristol Children’s Hospital. Find out how you can help by visiting www.grandappeal.org.uk