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Donated by Local Freemasons


July 2018

Duncan Maw has taken on the mantle of Chief Teddy allowing Harry Norman a well deserved retirement from the role.  One of his first tasks has been to take to the road and inform masons of the change, reinforce the reason for the teds and discuss some initiatives that may come to fruition.  The roadshow rolled into Hebburn as Heabrym Lodge were pleased to welcome Duncan and Ambassador for the South Shields Masonic Hall, Kevin Carter, to give a talk on the Tender Loving Care Teddies.

Duncan was introduced by Worshipful Master Donnie Baxter and then proceeded to outline the purpose of the TLC teddies.  Accident & Emergency staff refer to them as ‘distraction bears’ because that is exactly their purpose, distracting a distraught, injured or ill, child from their primary thought of the pain and anguish and allowing staff to quickly diagnose the location and cause of the trauma.  Without this distraction they have to spend longer calming the child before trying to get to the root of the cause.

By way of history, freemasons originally stepped up to fulfil the task of fund raising and presentation of the bears after NHS budgets were deemed ‘inadequate’ to stretch to pay for them.  This is a cause that we have been more than happy to give our backing to as amply evinced by the fact that over 83,000 teds have been given inn the Province of Durham alone.

This does come at a cost though, roughly £10,000 a year is required to continue our present level of activity and that is why lodges are asked to donate at least £50 a year and Duncan’s team are actively promoting and illustrating the benefit and reasoning behind this appeal, especially when masons are faced with many such appeals to their generosity.  The team makes no apologies for publicising individual acts in hospitals, where a particular child and their parents feel they would like to give public thanks, because this reminds us all of the benefit of this service and of the true beneficiaries, the children of our province.

Duncan is now looking at new initiatives away from A & E, such as ‘non-accidental injuries’ which are treated away from the main entry point to the hospital.  Any such additional ideas will require additional funding though and is again one of the reasons for these talks and the subsequent publicity and Duncan asks that this is understood when he makes that call on their wallet.

Kevin Carter was more than happy to accept the hall ambassador role and is about to embark on his first direct fund raising event to support the ‘teds’ by walking to each of the lodges in the province, timing his walks to arrive in time for a meeting in that hall.  Once this starts – hopefully in August – and you meet Kevin it is asked that you recognise the effort taken and respond accordingly.

The evening continued downstairs with a fraternal visit from Gyrwy adding to the usual number attending and also in providing the entertainment by Darren Hymers.  Darren’s ‘single speaker’ set up worked well and had everyone joining in on old favourites.  Everyone responded well to the talk and this was demonstrated by a fabulous collection of over £200 for the TLC teddies, with Lew Curry the lucky recipient of the large bear, gauging by the photo it is uncertain that a younger family member will be the ultimate owner!

To round off the night, Duncan made one last announcement of a notification just received on the TLC Durham page of a grateful mother’s photo of their son, in North Tyneside Hospital, thanking Durham Freemasons for the Hulk Teddy (green top) her child was given to comfort him earlier that evening – that is why we give.

<< News Articles
  • TLC Teddy Initiative……

    “thank you Freemasons for the thousands of teddies donated to children’s casualty departments”

  • Community Support Grants…..

    “The grant from Durham Freemasons has made an enormous difference to our service users”

  • Provincial Annual Meeting….

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”….

  • Masonic Widows……

    “My husband would be so proud that you still contact me so many years after his death, thank you for remembering me”

  • Provincial Meeting…..

    “The Provincial annual meeting is one of the highlights of my year, it’s great to meet everyone and support all those being rewarded for merit”

  • The Royal Arch…..

    “I feel that I have a much better understanding of the whole Masonic story after joining the Royal Arch”

  • What have you gained?

    “I’ve made wonderful friendships with people from all walks of life who I wouldn’t otherwise have even met”

  • In respect to the TLC Teddy initiative

    “A child patient copes with medical treatment so much better when they’ve been given a TLC teddy”

  • What Freemasonry has done for you?

    “The teachings of the masonic ceremonies helped me to be a better father, better husband, better son and better neighbour”What Freemasonry has done for you

  • One of the best things I have ever done…

    “Along with getting married, the birth of my children and Sunderland winning the FA Cup, becoming a Freemason is one of the best things I’ve ever done”

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