The Leyland Group of Freemasons recently held its annual Giving Day and one of the beneficiaries was the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) appeal. The appeal supplies teddy bears to distressed children whilst they are attending either Preston or Chorley hospitals.
Bob Olive the Chairman of the Leyland TLC scheme was presented with a cheque for £2250 on the day. He then gave a few words on behalf of the appeal. He was pleased to say that since the TLC scheme commenced in 2001, Accident and Emergency departments the length and breadth of the country, and abroad, had taken delivery of the teddy bears. Some areas actually store them on ambulances and even the air ambulance operating in our area was operating with teddies on board. He also commented that over 1 million teddy bears had been supplied since the beginning of the year. The Preston and Chorley operation commenced in September 2010 and to date they have presented sixteen thousand two hundred teddy bears to help children in their trauma.
He went on to say, ‘we thank and are grateful to the many Lodges and individuals who have supported the scheme by raising funds from raffles and social events. The Leyland Group of Lodges continue to support the scheme magnificently. We have the support of the Group Executive and indeed the Group Chairman, Stewart Seddon, who has been a staunch supporter since the scheme was first thought of and, it is seen as a way of supporting the local communities through Freemasonry.’
Thanks were also due to the TLC backup team – those who deliver the teddies to the hospitals and who give of their time freely and readily. Bill Bruce a Chorley mason looks after Chorley Hospital and raises funds in that area, Alan Howard a Preston mason does the same job at Preston. Mike Knowles is our middleman taking and relaying messages and has organised a Spring Draw and social event hosting the Houghton Weavers here at Wellington Park. Mike Casey represents the South Fylde Area. Bill Cordell too takes a bag of bears to almost every social events he attends and returns with money for the cause.
Bob explained that he had been given an invitation to observe in the A and E Children’s Department at Preston Hospital. He was able to see the scheme in operation and how it helped the staff to instil confidence in a young child. Those few moments with the families really brought home to him the impact and value of this wonderful community project.
Bob summarised by saying, ‘the donations we have received today will enable us to purchase more teddies and thereby bring a little a comfort to those children who are experiencing a particularly traumatic time in their lives.’