The Bundaberg branch of the Australian Red Cross can keep knitting thanks to a Council Partnership and Sponsorship Grant for their Trauma Teddy Program.
The funding will help supply stuffing, labels, wool and other materials so that community volunteers can continue to get together and create these beneficial bears.
The Trauma Teddy Program launched in Australia in 1900 with the establishment of the Bundaberg branch in 2001.
Since then, a dedicated team of local knitters has provided teddies throughout the region in times of disaster but also to give comfort or reduce stress wherever needed.
Australian Red Cross Trauma Teddy Convener Wendy MacDonald said the teddies were not only given to children but also to the elderly and disadvantaged members of the community in times of need.
“Closer to home, the Red Cross Trauma Teddies were used at both the 2011 and 2013 floods here in Bundaberg,” Wendy said.
“In 2006, 467 Trauma Teddies were handed out to hospitals, pathology labs, physios and schools.
“This has greatly increased to more than 2,000 over the years with them being provided to three local hospitals, multiple pathology clinics, doctors surgeries, a domestic violence centre and the local ambulance, plus a few others.”
Wendy said they currently had approximately 50 volunteers who all played an integral part in the Trauma Teddy Program.
“There are the knitters, those who stuff and fill them, sew on labels, give them faces and finish off assembling our Trauma Teddies throughout the community,” she said.
“Even though we have this magnificent number of volunteers, new volunteers and members are always welcome and needed.”
Wendy said that while the teddies themselves provided comfort to those in need, the program also served as a social outing for those who enjoyed craft and a chat with others.
“[It] provides a necessary comfort when everyone around you seems to be busy or you are alone in hospital and missing your family,” she said.
“It can also fill in time at home and keep the mind motivated and the hands active and also gives a sense of achievement and satisfaction of knowing you are helping others in their time of need and stress.”
The Partnerships and Sponsorships Program reflects the philanthropy of Council and its commitment to improve the wellbeing of the community of the Bundaberg Region.
To find out more about the Trauma Teddies Program or to join, click here.
To find out more about Council's Partnership and Sponsorship Program, click here.