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Donated teddies bring comfort to kids

  | Shaunnagh O'Loughlin Views: 1233

Cuddling a teddy can bring calm and comfort to children, especially when they have experienced trauma.

Donated teddies bring comfort to kids

At Dromana Fire Brigade there are always trauma teddies on the trucks ready to support a child in need – handmade by local community member Val Rowe and fellow volunteers at Seawinds Capel Sound Boomerang Bags.

More than 100 bears (and 20 dinosaurs) have been made so far, each one with a special role to play in keeping children calm when there is chaos around them.

Georgina McDonald, 3rd Lieutenant - Training and Development at Dromana Fire Brigade, said having a bear to hug can help a child focus and bring their stress levels down in times of crisis.

“The aftermath of a fire, road accident or other incident can be extremely upsetting for children, especially when they may not have anything of their own to hold on to,” Georgina said.

“When Val arrived with a bag full of bears for us, we all loved them - each one is individual with different facial expressions, ribbons and patterns.  

“We get to put a smile on the face of a child. They may be scared, tired or injured and being able to gift them one of the bears gives them a little something to brighten their day.”

Val said that the bears not only help comfort children, they stop unwanted fabric going to landfill.

“Earlier this year we heard that our brigade needed knitted teddies to give to children at incidents, so we started making them out of material donated to us through the Seawinds Community Hub as part of our work with Boomerang Bags,” Val said.

“Ten months and hundreds of teddies later, we are now receiving requests to make them for our local SES unit as well as a community woodworkers group that makes cradles as Christmas gifts for needy families.

“It’s lovely that we can give back and help our community in this way - the joy is all ours.”