16 December 2011
Children who come to Health and Social Services Department (HSSD) as clients or patients are being given a present funded by the Freemasons of Jersey.
Thanks to funding from the Freemasons, an initial donation of 400 teddy bears will be given out to different departments throughout Health and Social Services.
Teddy Loving Care
The initiative stems from a project called Teddy Loving Care and is a national initiative which began in Essex in 2001, and a large number of Masonic provinces are now involved. To date, 900,000 of the colourful bears have been given out across the UK through the scheme, and now it has been decided to extend the scheme to Jersey.
The appeal originated after the wife of a Freemason from Essex suffered an allergic reaction suddenly swelling and blocking her windpipe. The Freemason and his wife were extremely grateful for the swift and caring attention received, but found the experience frightening and speculated on the distress that children must face when visiting A&E units. The Freemason asked members of his Lodge and other local Freemasons to do something useful as a thank you to the A&E unit and its staff. From that point the idea of 'Teddies for Loving Care' was born.
Ken Rondel who is the Provincial Grand Master of Jersey, said “We think this is a wonderful project, and are delighted to be able to offer it to Health and Social Services. We hope that the bears supplied will be enjoyed by lots of children, and that they will find that a cuddly toy takes their mind off being at a medical appointment or being in a strange environment and they can take the bear home after their treatment. This is an initial donation of bears and when the stocks are depleted we will provide further bears as required. "
Lead nurse for children, Ann Kelly said "We have had a great deal of interest in this project from all over HSSD, from areas such as the Diabetes Centre, the Outpatients Department, the Asthma Clinic, the Ambulance Station, the Child Development Centre, the Dental Department, the Emergency Department, Radiology, the ENT Clinic and Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services. It is a lovely idea and we are very grateful for the Freemasons for thinking of us. Although our staff always try to put our young clients and patients at their ease, the bears will make visits to our services a little bit brighter for children."
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Anne Pryke said that Health and Social Services was very grateful for the generous donation. "This is a very unusual and very welcome donation for our young clients and patients, and we look forward to the project continuing," she said.