The Arrowe Park Hospital marked 20 000 donated teddy bears in 12 years

The Arrowe Park Hospital marked 20 000 donated teddy bears in 12 years
Image credit: Flickr (CC) / Christiaan Triebert

The Arrowe Park Hospital in the UK marked 20 000 teddy bears donated for the past 12 years. The stuffed animals come from many charity events.

Many people assume that the toys come from the NHS, the Liverpool Echo reports. But that’s not the case.

Actually over the past 12 years, there have been numerous charity initiatives. Most of them actually come from the Cheshire Freemasons who donate about 100 or so teddy bears every two weeks.

“We aren’t looking for glory or anything we just want people to know where they come from”, Neil Eaton, who is a volunteer TLC (Teddies for Loving Care) Coordinator for Wirral and Cheshire says.

Teddy bear medics

He adds that across Cheshire the local freemasons have donated over 120 000 teddy bears to different children’s hospitals. For the past 15 years, they have donated more than 1.9 million stuffed animals across the entire UK. “They find that giving a distressed child who is being treated by, for all intents and purposes a stranger, that giving them a teddy bear to cuddle relieves that distress.”

What’s more, they buy the stuffed animals direct from the manufacturer. All of the stuffies they donate are brand new. And some of them serve as helpers during medical procedures.

One of the bears the nurses used is named Penny. She has a penny inside her tummy to show children who swallowed coins what it will be like when they scan them with a metal detector. The bears are also helpful to use in demonstrating to children any treatment they are likely to have such as an arm sling or bandaging.

“The bears are great and the children love them. We see some very sick children come in and the bears just put a smile on their face. They really do cheer them up”, Margaret Edmonds, Ward Sister in the Children’s Emergency Department at Arrowe Park Hospital, said.