Everyone involved with TLC had huge cause for celebration recently as the three millionth bear was presented to Play Specialist, Jackie James at Peterborough City Hospital.
The special bear was given to Jackie by Dr David Staples, a hospital clinician and CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England. On receiving the little bear Jackie said:
The TLC 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 bear helps to provide some comfort and makes them feel at ease
Play Specialist, Jackie James
Dr David Staples added:
We are delighted to be able to present the three millionth bear from the ‘Teddies for Loving Care’ initiative to the hard working staff at Peterborough City Hospital. As a doctor, who also works at this hospital, I know how important these bears can be; both for the children who receive them and the staff who give them
TLC lead for Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire, Mark Constant, was also at the event with TLC representative, Arthur Briggs, representing all 47 TLC charities across England and Wales that work hard to maintain a steady supply of teddies to local hospitals.
Freemasons from the Northamptonshire and Huntingdonshire region alone have donated over 140,000 teddies! Mark has a team of six dedicated volunteers who liaise with local hospital teams and deliver bears as they are required. Mark said:
TLC is a wonderful example of how Freemasonry can work in the community and make a small but important difference. I was so pleased to meet some of the wonderful nurses and play specialists at Peterborough City Hospital this week. They really communicated how they use the bears in their daily work and the many benefits the teddies bring, not only to comfort a child but to assist the team in their work. Their enthusiasm for the Teddy scheme was inspiring
This simple but effective idea was started by Freemasons in Essex in 2001 and has since been rolled out across England and Wales. The TLC initiative benefits the community through the A&E departments that serve them and Freemasons will continue their efforts to donate these bears nationwide to children when they are at their most vulnerable.