The three millionth teddy to be given to poorly children across England and Wales has been presented, with Lincolnshire Freemasons playing a big part.
The special bear was presented to Jackie James, Play Specialist at Peterborough City Hospital, in the hospital’s Amazon Children’s Garden, by Dr David Staples, who’s not only a hospital Consultant Physician but also CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Freemasons’ group behind the Teddies for Loving Care initiative.
Lincolnshire Freemasons have been involved with the scheme at hospitals across the Province since the scheme began in 2001. The bears are given to children in hospital to comfort them or reward them for their bravery. In Lincolnshire they are also included in care packages given to victims of domestic abuse.
Children are often first met by a bear when they arrive at a hospital Emergency Department to provide comfort and reassurance, in what can be a scary and unknown environment. The bears are used to demonstrate procedures, with doctors and nurses often showing children the procedures on the bear, before performing on children.
Speaking as she received the three millionth bear, Jackie James said: “The Teddies for Loving Care bears are very special to us in the Emergency Department and have a wonderful, positive impact on children who are receiving care. When a child first arrives at hospital not only are they feeling unwell but they may also be feeling scared and anxious. The little TLC teddies provide some comfort and really help make them feel at ease.”
Dr Staples added: “I’m delighted to be able to present the three millionth ‘Teddy for Loving Care’. As a doctor who regularly works with children in hospitals, I know how important these bears can be; both for the children who receive them, their parents and the staff who give them.”
Lincoln Freemasons recently received letter of thanks from the parents of a child who’d been given a bear. It read: “Just a note to say ‘thank you’. My little boy, who is three years old, severed his finger badly so we had to to to Lincoln Hospital A&E. As we walked in a gentleman had a bag of teddy bears and he very kindly gave us a lovely teddy to cheer our son up. He said the bears had been given by the Freemasons. My son has the teddy in his bed and took it for his operation and follow-up appointment. It really is a lovely gesture for those on the receiving end. Thank you very much for such an act of kindness.”