The three millionth teddy to be given to poorly children across England and Wales has been presented, with Cornwall 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 a hospital Consultant Physician and CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England, the Freemasons’ group behind the Teddies for Loving Care initiative.
Cornish Freemasons have given teddies to 6,665 children at hospitals across Cornwall since the scheme began in 2001. The bears are given to children in hospital to comfort them or reward them for their bravery.
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 David Staples, CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England, said:
“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 and the staff who give them.
Mike Pritchard, Provincial Grand Charity Steward for Cornwall, said:
“The Freemasons of Cornwall are pleased to have provided thus far 6,665 Teddies for Loving Care to children across our counties hospitals. We know these teddies provide comfort and relive stress for children admitted into hospital and give their parents piece of mind at a traumatic time and help hospital staff to diagnose effectively”