An initiative by Yorkshire Freemasons to help ease the suffering and distress of children attending A&E departments has reached a significant milestone.
Eight years ago, the fraternity started providing cuddly teddy bears to hospitals via its TLC (Teddies For Loving Care) scheme, and this week the 100,000th soft toy was handed to a young patient at Harrogate District Hospital.
A total of 17 hospitals in North, South, East and West Yorkshire, participate in the TLC scheme – which is funded by West Riding Masonic Charities – and receive a box of teddies every month, which they have done so since 2008.
The Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons Province of Yorkshire West Riding, Rt W David S Pratt, who was on hand to give out the milestone teddy, 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 A&E Department Matron Steph Davies, 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 the case of Harrogate, the £500 is going to be used to purchase a trolley cart for baby weighing scales.
This special trolley will reduce the need to carry or find a suitable surface for scales, which means they can be manoeuvred around the department more easily to where a baby is, and will allow the smooth movement of the scales between the triage assessment room, children’s cubicle and resus.
It is purpose built for the scales so that they can be secured to the top, and has a shelf and drawer beneath to store consumables required such as wipes, disposable covers for the scales, nappies, and other assessment equipment.