Fylde coast paramedics could bear-ly contain their joy when a group of residents decided to donate some teddies to help comfort young patients.
Members of the Honourable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) have so far given out more than a million of the toys to accident and emergency departments and ambulance services around the country.
The TLC teddy bears, donated by members of the group’s Blackpool branch, will be given to children in severe distress to make their journey to hospital less distressing.
The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said being rushed to hospital can be traumatic for children and the teddies will make them more relaxed, making it easier for paramedics to treat them.
NWAS Motorcycle Paramedic Chris Veevers, who worked with HFAF to get the supply of TLC teddies, said: “HFAF have done a fantastic job in raising the funds and donating the TLC teddies for our young patients here on the Fylde coast.
“Children can become very scared whilst in the back of an ambulance and it’s important to keep young patients calm.
“A number of the TLC teddies have now been placed on NWAS vehicles on the Fylde coast in order to provide comfort and support to children.
“There is a limited amount, so we’ll have to give them out sparingly.
“This is a great example of two organisations working in partnership to improve the experience of young people whilst they’re in our care – a big thank you to HFAF for all their support.”
The teddies are placed individually in a plastic bag for infection control reasons and this is disposed of before the teddy is given to the child.
The youngster is then free to take the teddy home with them.
A simple way to help children in distress
The aim of TLC - Teddies for Loving Care – is to help children cope with the stress of emergency medical treatment.
The bears are given to staff at A&E as well as paramedics to hand out at their discretion.
According to the website, the TLC teddies are to be given to children ‘where the staff feel that a teddy or soft toy to cuddle will help alleviate the stress and assist them in their work’.
Afterwards, the child gets to take the bear home with them. To date, more than a million TLC teddies have been handed out.