The Lions Club of Guernsey is donating fifty special teddy bears to Guernsey’s emergency ambulance service to give to children in their care.
The teddy bears, wearing traditional blue Guernseys are embroidered with the Lions Club logo and individually wrapped for hygiene purposes, will be kept on the ambulances for clinicians to give to young children who need extra comfort or distraction following an illness or injury. Young patients will then be able to keep the bears and take them home after they leave the care of the ambulance service.
The idea came from former Guernsey Lion Sheila Cunningham who had seen an article in the national Lions magazine where some Lion clubs in the UK had completed a similar project.
Paul Allaway, President of the Lions Club of Guernsey said “We are pleased to be able to support this community initiative and we hope that the teddies will not be used very often but when they are we trust that it will bring some comfort to the affected child in addition to the care provided by the ambulance clinicians and St John team.”
Sonia Guille, Paramedic Station Officer added: “When a child is unwell, not feeling their best or has hurt themselves, ambulance crews do all they can to put them at ease and reassure them. Being able to give them a teddy bear to provide some extra comfort can help reduce anxiety or act as a bit of a distraction, which can make their experience a bit less stressful and a little more pleasant, so we are really grateful to the Lions Club for donating these Guernsey teddy bears.”
The bears have been produced by St Peter Port based Channel Island Toys.
Similar charity teddy bear schemes have operated in children’s hospitals and ambulance services in the UK and other countries around the world and feedback from those involved elsewhere shows they have proved popular and successful.