What are TLC Teddies?
TLC Durham provides small teddy bears, known as distraction teddies, to Accident and Emergency departments or Urgent Care Units across the Province of Durham. These are used by medical professionals, with distressed children, to calm them and so speed up the diagnosis of their illness and its treatment. Their use saves the NHS considerable staff time and speeds the diagnosis and thus treatment of many injuries where delays can have a considerable negative impact on the child’s recovery.
Each Teddy has a label stating “Donated by local Freemason’s” and they are a clear and identifiable sign of freemasons working for and within our communities to make lives better. Funding for the bears is raised from within freemasonry by various means and the funds are ring fenced within Durham Benevolence to be used solely for the provision of TLC Teddies.
We also deliver Selection Boxes at Christmas and Easter Eggs to the various Children’s Wards across the Province. The many letters and cards of thanks received from the nursing staff or from the children are a testament to the value the wider community places on our good work. These small acts of kindness make a big difference.
Our main communication with the wider NHS community and its patents is via our Facebook site ‘TLCTeddiesDurham’ and the active engagement continues to grow. We now have 1,765 likes and reach in excess of 4000 people. We would encourage everyone to visit the site to gain an understanding of the impact the Teddies have truly. If you like the site you will then receive notifications when we receive new posts. Many of these are from parents and Hospital staff, across the province, expressing gratitude and thanking freemasons for our kindness.
We raised £14,085 during 2022 and we provided 4248 to be used with children in distress. Since TLC Teddies was launched throughout the Province of Durham we have provided over 116,260 bears to help comfort children in distress.
The Teddies are something Freemasons are especially proud of as they make a big difference to the children who receive them by “turning tears into smiles” at a difficult time.