An appeal, aimed at reducing the anxiety for children visiting Emergency Departments, has just delivered a landmark teddy bear to the Chesterfield Royal Hospital.
The bear was amongst the latest batch, delivered to the Royal’s Emergency Department by the Chesterfield Freemasons, marking the 50,000th bear delivered in Derbyshire from the TLC Appeal.
The Teddies for Loving Care, TLC for short, is designed to help put youngsters at ease by allowing nurses to simulate the care they are about to give to the bear, for example bandaging or injection, thus reassuring the youngster that there is nothing to be afraid of. They are then given the bear to cuddle and play with throughout their treatment and take home upon discharge.
Joy Maddison is the ED Housekeeper and takes delivery of the cuddly toys, she said: “It works wonders and the parents really appreciate the gesture of their child being given something that takes their mind off their treatment.
“Like any busy Emergency Department, we get a lot of children through these doors and for many it will be there first experience of a hospital. They might be in pain, confused and full of anxiety by the thought of a complete stranger perhaps giving them an injection or something else unfamiliar to them that may cause discomfort. It helps them to understand what is about to happen and has the same effect as a comfort blanket. We’re so grateful to the Freemasons for bringing these into the hospital and delighted that we’ve been involved in reaching such a milestone.”
Joy Maddison [Right] is pictured here alongside one of the Emergency Department nurses, receiving the landmark Teddy Bear from Thomson Jarvis [centre]
The idea came from a Freemason in Essex whose wife needed emergency treatment following an allergic reaction that left her unable to breathe properly. They found it a terrifying experience and got them thinking about how much more traumatic it would be for a child and what could be done to help make that experience better. They discussed this with their Masonic Lodge and the TLC appeal was born.
More than 90 per cent of the money used to make the bears comes from the Freemasons. Thomson Parker-Jarvis is the Charity Steward for the Scarsdale Lodge of Freemasons, he said: “The whole thing is supported by fundraising initiatives including raffles, a stand at the Medieval Market in Chesterfield, things like that and this money goes towards the making of the bears. They are easy to clean, come in six different colours and are very cuddly. We’ve been bringing them over to the Royal’s Emergency Department for around ten years so it’s only fitting that we honour them with our fifty thousandth bear.”
If you would like to find out more about the TLC Appeal and how it helps the Royal, visit www.tlcappeal.org.