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Teddy bear hospital scheme reaches milestone

Friday, 11 July, 2014
Teddy bear hospital scheme reaches milestone

A scheme to give young children who are receiving treatment in hospital a teddy bear has reached an important milestone.

Northern Region Masonic Lodges has given more than 5,000 teddy bears to young patients in hospitals in Northumberland as part of its Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) programme.

The programme, which has been running for over four years, involves giving children a teddy bear when they arrive at hospital to comfort them before, during and after treatment.

John Ternent, treasurer for the Northern Region, presented commemorative bears to mark the milestone. These were given to 18-month-old Ellie Lumsdon, from North Seaton, at Wansbeck General Hospital’s children’s assessment unit. Ellie’s mum Kerry Anderson had taken her to the unit after a fall. A presentation was also made to Alfie Kidd, six. at the minor injuries unit at Alnwick Infirmary. Alfie, from Alnwick, attended the unit earlier this year after falling off his scooter and grazing his forehead. Six -year-old Brooke Anderson was also given a bear at the minor injuries unit at Berwick Infirmary. Brooke, from Spittal, attended the minor injuries unit with her mum Karen Anderson earlier this year after injuring her hand

John said: “Among all of our charitable activities, this is one I’m most proud of. To see how the simple act of receiving and cuddling one of our bears reduces anxiety is incredibly pleasing.

“Without the generosity and continuing support of our Lodges, individual donations and fundraising events, we would not be here today.”

The programme runs at the minor injuries units at Berwick Infirmary and Alnwick Infirmary and A&E and children’s assessment unit at Wansbeck General Hospital – all of which are managed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

Gurminder Singh, advanced paediatric nurse practitioner at the Trust, said: “It’s great that the scheme has helped so many children with their experience of being treated in hospital. We are grateful for the support of the Freemasons in funding the scheme which really makes a difference to young patients.”