A COLLECTION of cuddly teddy bears will be helping to comfort young visitors to Sheffield’s St Luke Hospice, following a donation by a city charity.
The teddies have been bought by Help A Child Have A Chance as part of the 12 Days of Christmas appeal, in association with The Star.
The charity has awarded St Luke’s £300 to pay for 30 ‘bereavement bears’, that are used as an aid to help youngsters understand about the terminal illnesses their relatives have.
On the back of each teddy is a rucksack, which is meant to carry the weight of their problems and worries, and for young people to store happy memories.
Mike Reeder, St Luke’s chaplain and spiritual care co-ordinator, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the money for the teddies.
“They are a vehicle for us to talk with children in an informal manner about the serious things that are happening to their relative, and they also provide a long-lasting memento of the person that they are remembering.
“The rucksack allows the child to put in messages to their relative if they find things hard to say face to face.
“Sometimes children take the teddies home and sometimes they leave them with their relative, so both people feel the connection even when the child is not visiting the hospice.”
He added: “Teddies have also come back to the hospice year on year as children often visit where their relative died and bring their teddies with them.
“The teddies also feature in funeral services, as they become a comfort to the child.”
Help A Child Have A Chance has teamed up with The Star to offer young people across the region the chance to receive a share of £10,000.
Nominations flooded in following an appeal last month and the recipients of the charity cash are being revealed.
Shirley Kilner, founder of the good cause, said: “The bereavement bears are such a special idea and a wonderful way to be bring comfort to children in what can be an incredibly difficult time.”
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.helpachildhaveachance.co.uk.
n See tomorrow’s Star for another 12 Days of Christmas winner.