TEDDIES for Loving Care (TLC) delivered over 14,000 free teddy bears in 2023 to Accident & Emergency and Children’s Wards across Surrey, plus charities caring for children.
A hospital visit can be a frightening experience for a young child, especially in an emergency. Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) is a way of providing much-needed comfort to children in A&E departments, helping to reduce the shock and distress of their experience.
The Teddies for Loving Care initiative, which is run by Surrey Freemasons, provides unique cuddly bears that medical staff give to young children. The bears not only calm children down, but are used to demonstrate procedures, such as putting on an oxygen mask, or showing how a broken bone will be supported and fixed.
Often the bears distract children, so nurses and doctors can get their jobs done more quickly and efficiently. The TLC teddy has become an invaluable tool for medical professionals, with the bonus that every child who receives a teddy gets to take it home, where it often becomes a special friend.
Amelia, a mother who had taken her young daughter to Frimley Park Hospital in Camberley, said:
“Whilst she was undergoing various blood tests, the nurses gave her a TLC Bear. She was a star patient after receiving her bear, which has not left her side since her hospital admission! What was a very stressful and scary time for us all was made better by my Daughter receiving her Teddy, which brought a smile to her face and helped her to cooperate for the rest of our hospital stay. What an amazing thing for children to receive when they are feeling poorly. The Teddy is now one of her favourites and goes everywhere with her.”
Other Charitable support during 2023 included a free-of-charge revamp for an ‘I Choose Freedom’ women’s refuge, where a large and neglected storage area was transformed into a bright and friendly charitable clothes store. Mothers and their children, who have often fled life-threatening domestic abuse without any belongings, can now visit and select free clothes and replacement belongings, in a shop-style environment, to help them rebuild their shattered lives. Freemasons from around Surrey planned the revamp, then rolled their sleeves up and completely rebuilt and refurbished the area over a long 3-day period. This saved the charity many thousands of pounds and provided a much-needed facility for distressed mothers and their children, who also receive a TLC teddy.
Further charitable grants and donations this past year have included:
- £60K (over 3 years) to Momentum Children’s Charity, to help fund a family Support Worker for seriously ill children and their families in Surrey.
- 30K for RASASC in Guildford, to help support teenage survivors of rape and sexual abuse and their families.
- £9.9K (over 3 years) to Focus Surrey, to help provide much-needed support to families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), through its twice-weekly Saturday Club. The club provides a period of respite, benefiting 60 children each year, plus parents and carers.
- £10K to Man & Boy, which supports children and young people who have recently experienced family relationship breakdowns. This charity provides many outdoor activities for the kids and families as well as mentoring. In the past year, the charity supported 182 individuals and 87 families.
- £40K to The Surrey Care Trust (over 2 years). This is already helping around 35 challenged or disadvantaged young Surrey people, who would otherwise not secure qualifications at school, to receive specialist educational and personal support.
Ian Chandler, Head of Surrey Freemasons, said:
“I am proud to say that these grants have been in addition to countless other local charities and good causes supported by Freemasons Lodges throughout Surrey in 2023, including food hampers for those in need, assisting the Wild Aid rewilding project near Leatherhead, and Christmas toy donations to Surrey children’s hospitals and charities. We hope to do even more to help our local communities in 2024.”
You can discover more about Surrey Freemasons at: https://surreyfreemasons.org.uk/.