A young patient at Harrogate District Hospital has become the 100,000th child to receive a teddy bear in a charitable scheme to ease the suffering of child hospital patients.
The initiative, TLC (Teddies For Loving Care), was set up eight years ago by Yorkshire Freemasons to help ease the suffering and distress of children attending A&E departments across the region.
Since 2008, a total of 17 hospitals across Yorkshire have received a box of teddies every month to give out to child patients, thanks to the scheme which is funded by the West Riding Masonic Charities.
The Provincial Grand Master of the Yorkshire Freemasons Rt W David S Pratt, who was on hand to give out the milestone teddy, expressed his delight at the schemes success.
He said: “TLC has been an absolute runaway success, and it’s wonderful that the 100,000th teddy has now been given to a young patient ahead of receiving treatment.
“We are supremely proud of our TLC scheme, which continues to be incredibly well received by each and every one of the participating A&E departments throughout the Province.
“Time and time again we are told the teddies really help calm young patients down, and make it easier for the doctors and nursing staff to administer treatment.
“When we launched the scheme, we knew it was going to be popular, but we weren’t quite sure how successful it was going to be. Now, eight years and 100,000 teddies later, we have a pretty good idea.
“And, with the support and generosity of our members, long may it continue. This is not just my sentiments, but the sentiments of the staff in each of the 17 A&E departments.”
Harrogate District Hospital (HDH) has been involved with the TLC scheme since it was created, and HDH A&E Department Matron, Steph Davies, says that many a teddy from the scheme has been named after staff members.
She said: “We are indebted to the Freemasons for providing these teddies to the department. They really are a massive help when we are treating young children. They are a welcome distraction and allow us to get on with the job of assessing and treating our patients.
“We have been an eager participant in the TLC scheme since day one, and over the years plenty of teddies in Harrogate and the surrounds are named after nurses and doctors working in the town’s A&E department.”
To celebrate the milestone, each participating hospital has been presented with a certificate, plus a £500 donation to buy equipment for either A&E or the children’s ward.
In Harrogate, the £500 donation will purchase a trolley cart for baby weighing scales, so they can be manoeuvred around and between departments more easily.
The trolley will be purpose built for the scales so that they can be secured to the top, with a shelf and drawer beneath to store wipes, disposable covers for the scales, nappies, and other assessment equipment.