Teddies donated by Devonshire Freemasons help celebrate NHS Workers' Day

Tuesday, 06 July 2021

Teddies donated by Devonshire Freemasons help celebrate the NHS Workers' Day

Charlie Yelland, Assistant Head of the Devonshire Freemasons, accompanied by Keith Bower, visited the children's section of North Devon District Hospital on behalf of Devon Freemasons Teddies for Loving Care (DFTLC).

Their visit was to support an initiative by the Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), the Freemasons' charity, to support "NHS Workers Day on the 5th July. The day was created to thank NHS Frontline workers for their work undertaken during the pandemic.

The acknowledgement was in the form of some larger teddies donated for the children's play room and more especially some specially commissioned teddy bear pin badges where the teddies sported nurse's uniforms. These were very much appreciated by the nursing staff who pinned them onto their own uniforms and lanyards immediately.

Charlie and Keith heard many stories about the benefits of the teddies to children in hospital. There are many examples of this, with a radiologist sharing that she has 'probably x-rayed more teddies then she has children...' in order to demonstrate that the machine will do no harm.

Just as they were leaving the building at the conclusion of their visit, the Matron was observed creeping down the corridor with a large teddy safely in her arms which we are sure was going to find a home in her office!

The following day Brian Sargent delivered playroom teddies and Nurse Pins to Kingsbridge Hospital. The new bears have the facility to write the bears name on the label and Brian reports that this hospital has named all the coloured bears as follows:- Green=George, Yellow=Sunshine, Red=Rosie, Pink=Susie, Blue=Sky, Lilac=Lilly.

All together 10 large teddies and 100 pins donated by Freemasons will have been delivered to hospitals throughout Devon.  

A letter from Harvey's parents:

When we arrived at hospital Harley was very nervous and unsure, however after meeting the lovely nurses and being taken to his bed, he was quickly reassured that he was in the best of hands. He quickly spotted the teddy in his bed waiting for him and hopped straight up to give him a cuddle.

Throughout the day, Harley was feeling more relaxed and assured by the constant reassurance from Jane's interactions with him, ensuring he was well looked after. So much so that Harley even went on to name his new teddy Jane, after his nurse.

Harley forgot to take his teddy into theatre, but when he came round in recovery, Jane (the teddy) was also wearing a mask and cuddling him for support. This was one of the first things Harley reached for when coming round, second only to his mummy.

We really can't thank the staff enough for the time and care they provided our Harley, he went in there very nervous and came out feeling like a superhero.

Kind regards,

Tom, Sarah and Harley


Jane Dickinson, a Senior Paediatric Nurse said: 'A really big thank you from all of us on Day Surgery Unit for the wonderful teddies you kindly donate to our ward. They make an incredible difference to the child and family's experience on their journey through Day Surgery, which in turn makes a difference to the staff and their experience.

Every evening we prepare the children's bed spaces for the next day and place a teddy on each bed tucked behind a pillow peeping out over the top so the first thing that the child sees when we take them to their bed is the teddy waiting for them. It changes what can be a very daunting and uncertain arrival onto the ward to something more fun and welcoming and helps the staff make a connection with the child at what can be a crucial point. We have a very short amount of time to gain some trust from the child and family before the child goes to theatre for surgery and in my experience the teddies go a long way to helping us to do this. This enables us to carry out preoperative interventions that can otherwise to a child being quite frightening, such as checking the temperature and heart rate, magic cream on the backs of their hands and giving medications and we very often demonstrate teddy first for those whom are more anxious.

Thank you so much; your teddies not only help the children but also the families and the staff. Seeing the children's faces break into a smile as they spot the teddy on their bed makes it all worthwhile.'

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