Essex initiative to support children in hospital reaches milestone

Mark Constance, Arthur Briggs, Dr David Staples, Jackie James, Emily Grant and son Edward

Mark Constance, Arthur Briggs, Dr David Staples, Jackie James, Emily Grant and son Edward celebrate the teddy bear milestone - Credit: Essex Freemasons

An Essex Freemasons initiative which was rolled out across England and Wales has presented over three million teddy bears to children in hospitals.

Of these, 500,000 have been presented in Essex since the scheme was created in 2001. 

Play specialist 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.” 

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The bears are also used to demonstrate procedures, with doctors and nurses often showing children the procedures on the bear first.  

Dr David Staples, CEO of the United Grand Lodge of England, and a hospital Consultant Physician said: “I’m delighted to be able to present the three millionth 'Teddy for Loving Care’.

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"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."

Robert Whittingham, chairman of Teddy for Loving Care in Essex said: “We are delighted that this initiative that was started in Essex has been so widely received and has helped so many children during difficult times. 

"The small comforting toy helps uplift the children’s spirit and makes the visit to the hospital a more pleasant and easier one.” 

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