Teddy bears donated to Blythe House and Helen’s Trust are helping local children affected by grief and bereavement.

Derbyshire Freemasons kindly gave the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) to Blythe House Hospicecare and Helen’s Trust, which supports children and young people with counselling and play therapy.

The TLC initiative was founded by the national Freemasons where millions of bears have been given to hospital A&E departments to help comfort children and teenagers.

Neil Tomlinson, Derbyshire Freemasons TLC coordinator (photographed alongside Angela Salisbury from the hospice team), recently visited the hospice to present the teddy bears.

The different coloured cuddly toys are now being used by counsellors at the hospice to support children who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Rachel Leech, children and young people’s counsellor at Blythe House, said: ‘In one instance, I asked a child to pick the colour that reminded them of their mummy, and with another child, the teddy bear was focused on what colour they needed. The bears are such a special addition to the range of resources I use during my sessions with children aged four to 18, who are finding it difficult to come to terms with the illness or loss of someone close to them.’

The teddy bears are set to be used at an upcoming family Christmas event, open to children who have experienced loss, and their families. There will be festive crafts and a chance to decorate a special memory candle holder.

Rachel explained: ‘The event will be an opportunity for local children to come together to make friends with others who are in a similar situation, and remember their loved ones at Christmas, which is usually a tough time of year for anyone who is bereaved.’

The family Christmas event is taking place at Blythe House Hospicecare on Eccles Fold, Chapel-en-le-Frith from 4 to 6pm on Friday 10th December. Any child in the local community who has experienced the death of someone they love is welcome to attend.

Find out more.