The Teddies for Loving Care initiative provides unique cuddly bears to Accident & Emergency departments for medical staff to give at their discretion to young children. The bears are used to calm children down, reward them for being brave or to demonstrate procedures. Often the bears distract children so nurses and doctors can get their jobs done quickly and efficiently. The TLC teddy has become an invaluable tool for medical professionals and a real comfort for children.
The work of TLC is funded through the generous donations of Freemasons, their families and supporters of the programme. Many Freemasons also volunteer hundreds of hours each year to manage the scheme, deliver bears to hospitals, campaign to raise funds and increase awareness through events and talks.
There are 47 regional TLC programmes across England and Wales that provide teddies for their local A&E departments. Once a hospital joins the scheme they can replenish teddies on request through their local TLC representative. Some TLC programmes also donate a portion of their funds towards teddies for minor injuries units, children’s wards and hospices; there are even teddies flying on air ambulances!
Gloucestershire launched TLC in 2011 and in 2023 Gloucestershire Freemasons donated their 15000th bear. All the Minor Injury Units in the Masonic Province of Gloucestershire receive bears donated by the GMCA which itself is funded by donations from Gloucestershire Freemasons.
Jonathan Steel who heads up the scheme in Gloucestershire celebrated the 15000th bear with an epic cycle ride between all the MIU’s in Gloucestershire during 2023.
If your would like to find out more about TLC in Gloucestershire please email Jonathan at: firstname.lastname@example.org