An initiative by West Yorkshire Freemasons to comfort children in A&E departments has reached a significant milestone. The Freemasons’ TLC (Teddies For Loving Care) scheme began 15 years ago, providing cuddly teddy bears to hospitals. This week, the 200,000th teddy was given to a young patient at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
A total of 17 hospitals across North, South, and West Yorkshire participate in the TLC scheme, which is funded by West Riding Masonic Charities. The program has supplied hospitals with a box of teddies every month since 2008. Sheffield Children’s Hospital has extended the initiative by partnering with Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, which now receives a monthly box of teddies.
James H Newman OBE, Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding, expressed his pride in the program, stating,
“TLC is a wonderful initiative and one that is greatly appreciated by the 17 participating hospitals and the children who receive them.”
He further explained that the teddies serve as a distraction for young patients and have a calming influence during examinations.
Jane Darby, Hub Fundraising Officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, expressed gratitude for the Freemasons’ donations.
“We are so thankful to Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons for donating their 200,000th TLC cuddly bear for our patients,” she said. “Since the beginning, the teddies have been, and will continue to be, a huge source of comfort to our young patients. They help to promote a sense of wellbeing and bring joy in what can otherwise be a scary and uneasy time.”
To learn more about the Province of Yorkshire West Riding, visit their website at https://www.yorkshirewestridingfreemasons.org.uk/.
Pictured from left are: Ian Norman of Concordia Lodge, Keith Bradley, TLC Coordinator and, Director of West Riding Masonic Charities, Duncan Kilbride, Chairman of West Riding Masonic Charities; James Newman OBE, Provincial Grand Master; Donna Webster-Payne and Jane Darby, Hub Fundraising Officer, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Sheffield Children’s Hospital.