A SCHEME bringing love and comfort to young hospital patients in the form of a cuddly toy is celebrating reaching a milestone.
Northern Region Masonic Lodges has given more than 5,000 teddy bears to children receiving treatment in hospitals across Northumberland, including Wansbeck General Hospital.
The Teddies for Loving Care programme, which has been running for more than four years, involves giving children a teddy bear when they arrive at hospital to comfort them before, during and after treatment.
John Ternent, treasurer for the northern region, and Paul Anderson, chairman, presented a commemorative bear to 18-month-old Ellie Lumsdon, of North Seaton, at Wansbeck’s children’s assessment unit where she is she is being treated following a fall.
Gurminder Singh, advanced paediatric nurse practitioner, said: “It’s great that the scheme has helped so many children with their experience of being treated in hospital.
“We are grateful for the support of the freemasons in funding the scheme, which really makes a difference to young patients.”
John said: “Among all our charitable activities, this is one I’m most proud of.
“To see how the simple act of receiving and cuddling one of our bears reduces anxiety is incredibly pleasing.
“Without the generosity and continuing support of our lodges, individual donations and fundraising events, we would not be here today.”
The scheme also runs at the minor injuries units at Berwick Infirmary and Alnwick Infirmary, both of which are managed by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.