Addenbrooke’s Thank Teddy Champion Jim Whitehead

Cambridgeshire Freemason, Jim Whitehead, who has led the delivery of thousands of teddy bears to Addenbrooke’s Hospital over the last two decades, has reached the end of his marathon toy story.

Jim was invited to Addenbrooke’s emergency department where staff thanked him for his efforts involving the delivery of 32,000 bears to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Ely, Wisbech and Doddington Health Hubs. At the event, Jim, who launched the initiative in Cambridgeshire in 2002, handed over the role to fellow Freemason, Tony Barrios, who was more than happy to take on this important role.

At the original Addenbrooke’s TLC press launch a nurse instinctively grabbed a new bear to sooth a screaming child, both mother and happy teddy-hugging patient ended up in the local press photos.  Since then the bears have proved their worth over and over again.

Jim recalled,

Cambridgeshire Freemasons, and particularly their wives, strongly supported the idea and we soon had a solid fund to operate the supply. This, of course, was quite additional to all the other demands upon the members’ charitable giving. Cambridgeshire is a small Province of just over 30 Lodges so we’re proud to have donated so many teddy bears over the years

Paediatric health play specialist, Sophie Barber, said they look forward to working with Tony, adding,

We are hugely grateful to Jim and the Cambridgeshire Lodges for the incredible way they have supported us and brought happiness to so many children. Quite often they are frightened and upset when arriving in hospital, however receiving the little bear can help promote a positive hospital experience for the child


Watch the video on how Jim and the teddies have made an impact