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Making hospital a little easier – the charity that has given 10,000 teddies to kids

The charity, which has been going since July, aims to donate 30,000 new teddy bears to hospitals every year.

Image: TLC Appeal

AN EMERGENCY ROOM is not the nicest place in the world to be at any time.

But for children those experiences can be heightened. The waiting rooms of emergency departments are typically not welcoming to younger patients, which is why the Teddies for Loving Care Appeal was established.

Running in Ireland since July, the charity have delivered over 10,000 new teddies to 29 hospitals across the country.

The charity is funded and run entirely by members of the Freemason Society of Ireland and is based on an appeal that started in England in 2000. Since then that appeal has given over 1 million teddies to hospitals.

Philip Daly of the Irish TLC Appeal says that the reaction in Ireland has been outstanding.

“The reaction has been absolutely brilliant. The teddies are there for the medical staff to hand out as they see fit at their discretion for children who are in distress.

As you can imagine, most children in an emergency department would be in some distress.

“One of the big advantages of the teddy is that the nurse or doctor can actually demonstrate to the child what they are going to do.”

Because of rules governing toys that can be used in hospitals, the teddies are bought in from Asia, sealed in sterile bags. The first time they are opened is when they are given to children.

That means that the charity can’t accept donations of teddies, but all teddies are kept by the children they are given to.

Money is being raised by Freemasons organisations across the country, but public donations are welcomed.

Philip says that the scheme “has no life end” and will be done on an ongoing basis, ultimately aiming to deliver 30,000 teddies a year.

The positivity doesn’t end in hospitals, however.

“If there is any surplus at the end of a year, we have plans to donate that to the Laura Lynn House or the Children’s Hospital in Northern Ireland.”

To find out more about the appeal, click here.

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