Fifteen years ago, West Riding began providing cuddly teddy bears to hospitals via its Teddies For Loving Care scheme.
Recently, an incredible milestone was met when the 200,000th soft toy was given to a young patient at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. A total of 17 hospitals in North, South and West Yorkshire, participate in the TLC scheme, which is funded by West Riding Masonic Charities, and receive a box of teddies every month, which they have done so since 2008.
The hospitals are Ripon, Harrogate, Airedale, Wharfedale, Bradford, Pontefract, Dewsbury, Pinderfields, Leeds Children's Hospital, Huddersfield, Calderdale, Barnsley, Doncaster, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, Bassetlaw, Rotherham and Mexborough. Sheffield Children’s Hospital has also formed a partnership with Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice, which now also receive a monthly box of teddies.
James H Newman OBE, Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding, said:
‘TLC is a wonderful initiative and one that is greatly appreciated by the 17 participating hospitals and the children, who receive them.
With the exception of Covid period, for the last 15 years these hospitals have received a box of teddies each and every month and these teddies are then given to young children attending A&E.
The teddies help distract the young patients from their ailments and have a calming influence as the doctors and nurses examine them.
I am incredibly proud that it is the generosity of our members from Lodges across all parts of Yorkshire that fund this scheme, as they too recognise the importance of the scheme.’
Jane Darby, Hub Fundraising Officer, The Children’s Hospital Charity, Sheffield Children’s Hospital, said:
‘We are so thankful to Yorkshire West Riding Freemasons for donating their 200,000th TLC cuddly bear for our patients.
As Sheffield Children’s was the first hospital to receive TLC teddies when the scheme was introduced locally, all the way back in 2008, we were delighted to be the recipients of this milestone donation.
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.’