Freemasons of the Province of Durham have been supplying the toy bears to North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust’s A&E paediatric department for more than a decade and this month saw the 80,000th bear donated.
More than 800 teddies are given away each year at the hospital to help comfort children who may be in distress when they arrive. Children are able to take the cuddly teddies home with them after they leave, a luxury the trust would not have without the kind donations of the Freemasons.
Nationally the Freemasons have donated over one million teddies, under the TLC Teddies scheme. The initiative is simple – to provide teddies for children attending A &E across the region.
Duncan Maw, Freemasons of the Province of Durham said: “All the A&E staff love the teddies as they can take the children’s mind off sickness or injury for a few minutes enabling them to have a proper look at the child. In my view these Teddies are a simple and effective way to distract children from their illness.”
Debbie Hall, Paediatrics Lead Nurse, Accident and Emergency at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The children we see in our department are often very distressed and upset – these teddy bears really help us to calm them down and assess their needs as soon as possible. We are really grateful to Stockton Freemasons for donating so many of these toys bears over the last decade. It makes a real difference to all of the children who visit us, as well as the staff on the department.”