Teddies donated to help Sunderland patients

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Dozens of teddies are set to bring smiles to the faces of poorly youngsters after being gifted to a city hospital.

Freemasons from the Province of Durham delivered the batch to Sunderland Eye Infirmary as part of a scheme which has seen tens of thousands of teddies delivered to wards across the country.

A spokesman from the Freemasons said: “The teddy helps to distract the child while giving them a friend and someone to hug, while allowing the medical staff to get on with their urgent work.

“The objective of the project is simple: to provide TLC teddies to all of the accident and emergency units and child hospices within the Province of Durham.”

He added: “They also act as a tool to help staff befriend the child, as well as a reward for being brave.

“It has also been found that the medical staff can perform tasks, such as injections, on the teddy first, making the child far less scared and more willing to go next.”

The teddies are funded through donations from lodges and individuals, which are then distributed among the six accident and emergency departments in the area.

To date, as a province, the Freemasons have donated almost 65,000 teddies through the TLC project, which stands for Teddies for Loving Care.

Nationally, the scheme has seen more than a million teddies donated to hospitals.