Ilkeston Freemasons Hall

Teddies for Loving Care find a new home

Treetops Hospice in Risley Derbyshire, provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, those who’ve been bereaved, and their families.

Treetops understands how difficult this last eighteen months has been on the younger generation, especially if they’ve experienced a significant bereavement.

The Children’s and Young Peoples’ Counselling Service has seen an increased level of trauma in young clients who have experienced a bereavement. Being in isolation, not having family and friends around, or being unable to do our usual cultural norms for saying goodbye at funerals, has increased levels of stress, anxiety, depression and sometimes panic attacks. All of this can affect sleep, concentration and self-esteem as well as a child’s ability to process their grief.

To help with all of this, the Children’s Counselling team are developing therapeutic ‘Calming Kits’ for clients. The kits help them to develop a set of tools and increase confidence in their ability to reduce their anxieties themselves.

Derbyshire Freemasons were keen to help with this initiative by donating Teddies free of charge to Treetops so they could be included in the kits. They are usually given to distressed children to help comfort them when they are admitted to A&E.

Neil recently took over the co-ordination of the Freemasons Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) scheme throughout the County from W Bro Neil Hartburn (who’s stewardship had seen over 60,000 teddies distributed free of charge to hospital A&E departments in Derbyshire – a fantastic result). Nationally the Freemasons have donated over 3 million Teddies!

Thanks to a suggestion by a fellow Freemason, Neil visited Treetops with his wife Alison and delivered a good quantity of Teddies which have been included in the Calming Kits, the first time they have been used to support a Hospice.

Jules Kirk, Therapeutic Services Manager and Head of Children’s Services said:

“We are incredibly grateful for the kind donation of the TLC Teddies from the Derbyshire Freemasons. We will be incorporating them into our unique Calming Kits, centred around using the five senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch.

“The kits include something physical that clients can use to help them calm down at times when they are feeling anxious, stressed or starting to panic. This can help them to feel more in control of their body and mind.”

The photo shows L to R, Alison Tomlinson, Jules Kirk (Therapeutic Services Manager) and W Bro Neil Tomlinson. Jules and Neil were happy to talk about the scheme on the video below!