Giraffes on Tour Launches Charity Giraffe Teddy

Giraffes on Tour Launches Charity Giraffe Teddy with Support from Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate

On Thursday 25th April, 500 giraffe teddies joined a No 10 Squadron RAF flight to raise awareness and support for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Ian Conway, the Director of Giraffes on Tour, formed the charity in memory of Louise Conway.

Two staff members from Queen Ethelburga's preparing for Giraffes on TourOn board the 5-hour flight, with the callsign GIRAFFE-500, was Ian Conway and his wife, two representatives from sponsors, Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, and two Flight Lieutenants; Mark Scott and Jake Weeks.

Giraffes On Tour: Flight of the Giraffes 2

Ian and Mark organised the 'Flight of the Giraffes 2' to coincide with the first anniversary of their successful first 'Flight of the Giraffes'. The initial flight, carrying 330 donated giraffe teddies on an RAF Voyager, raised £4000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital. This year, the GIRAFFE-500 flight flew in a heart-shaped route that departed and returned to, RAF Brize Norton. The flight will escort 500 newly manufactured Geoffrey giraffe teddies, kindly donated by Chapter House School which paid 50% of the production costs.

Sarah Hunter-White, Forces Liaison Officer at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, who was on board the flight, commented,

“Our school has a longstanding relationship with the Forces Community. We have approximately 340 forces students, which make up 25% of our community. On a Forces Family Day, one of our team met Ian and learnt about Giraffes on Tour and the great charitable work it was doing in the memory of his daughter. We have a certain amount of Forces community outreach funding available and decided that this is such a worthy cause. We were delighted to be a part of it and the flight was definitely an experience I will never forget!”

Sarah Hunter-White

Making New Memories, In Memory

Team from Giraffes on Tour boarding the teddies on the plane.

Ian Conway explained,

"Giraffes on Tour is based on one giraffe that my daughter, Louise, had when she was very unwell at Great Ormond Street. Sadly, Louise passed away, and her best friend was Geoffrey the giraffe. So, in her legacy, we’ve got a little giraffe going on adventures. As much as Geoffrey’s travelling, Louise is travelling with him. It means a lot to have the support of so many amazing people. Especially the Royal Air Force's support by providing opportunities for our Geoffrey adventures. Also, Chapter House School, who sponsored the creation of the giraffe teddies. It’s all very heartwarming. Our 500 giraffes all had the most amazing time and we do hope that they can find new homes.”

Ian Conway

Karen Kilkenny, Head of Chapter House and Queen’s Kindergarten added,

“Chapter House School has Forces boarders in Years 3 to 5 who have really got behind Geoffrey and his adventures. They have their own "Geoffrey" and enjoy filling out his adventure passport and reading about the recent RAF flight he has been on. The children love Geoffrey and he is becoming a key part of Chapter House boarding. Geoffrey helps facilitate conversations with our military children within our newly renovated boarding house and in our Forces Club.”

Karen Kilkenny

A Support Network For Forces Children

Pastoral Co-ordinator and Army Veteran of 25 years, Danny Abdy, who runs the Chapter House Forces Club and joined Sarah on the GIRAFFE-500 flight. He said,

“It has been an incredibly enjoyable experience, and it is for such a good cause. As an ex-military family man myself, I know the importance that a community feel has on military children. In my experience, Chapter House and Queen Ethelburga’s do a terrific job of making our military children part of a community within a community.

The children can join the Forces club in Chapter House and our Combined Cadet Force in King’s Magna, QE College and QE Faculty. There are Forces pin badges, similar to Prefect badges, that the children can wear with pride. Also, our CCF hosts our own Remembrance Parade onsite, we run activities for events like Armed Forces Day, and a team of us is trained to best support Forces children. So, an opportunity like this is just an extension of our commitment to supporting Forces families and making them feel truly welcome here.”

 Danny Abdy

Flt Lt Mark Scott said of the flight and working with Giraffes on Tour, “I love having these giraffes with me when we go flying. The giraffes make everyone smile as they see us around the Voyager building with the giraffes. The charity’s fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital has been close to my heart for several years. It’s an honour for me to use a “normal” day at work to help them do something extraordinary."

Forces staff from Chapter House, Queen Ethelburga's in the cockpit.

Own Your Own Geoffrey

The Giraffes on Tour online store sells the limited edition 'Flights of the Giraffe 2' teddy. The teddy includes a pencil and a passport to record Geoffrey’s adventures. All proceeds will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Chapter House Prep School is part of Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate. The school offers a co-educational environment for ages 3 months to Year 5. Discover Chapter House by clicking here or book a private tour, by contacting Admissions.

To purchase a giraffe or to read about Geoffrey’s other adventures visit Giraffes on Tour. To learn more about RAF Brize Norton, visit