Published on: 20 April 2021

Donations of brand-new teddies have been gratefully received by ELHT&Me, the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, to support young patients during their hospital experience.

The teddies, which are delivered regularly to the charity by the East Ribble Freemasons, are distributed to patients on the Children’s Day Case Unit, Ward 27, at Burnley General Teaching Hospital, to comfort them during their stay in hospital.

“Young people up to the age of 16 come to us for surgical procedures, and we also have children who attend the ward regularly for medical investigations and treatment”, said Cheryl Fitzgerald, Ward Manager.

“Before COVID, our young patients were able to utilise our playroom, but when social distancing became necessary, they have had to remain in their bay, usually on their beds.”

“With this in mind, to make their time in hospital more pleasant, we place a teddy on their bed in the morning, waiting for them to arrive. These teddies will often make the trip to theatre with their new owner, and then going home with them in the afternoon. We are so grateful for donations like this, which help us to make patient experience better for the children we care for.”

Malcolm Roe, District Charity Steward for the East Ribble Freemasons, said: “We are proud to be able to deliver these teddies with loving care to ELHT, knowing how much comfort and support they bring to the children, and how they make their stay in hospital much better.”

Emma Heinicke, Community Fundraiser at ELHT&Me, said that these donations were part of the Freemasons’ ongoing support of the charity: “We are really pleased that our longstanding relationship with the East Ribble Freemasons has supported us to enhance the experiences of our patients and staff across our hospitals and in the community.

“Their regular donations of teddies are a great example of how something as small as a soft toy can make a big difference. The support of the Freemasons is invaluable and we’re looking forward to working with them further – including at The Big NHS Walk on 4 July, where they will be marshalling the event.

“Anyone inspired to fundraise in aid of their local hospital charity, or those interested in signing up for The Big NHS Walk, should visit our website to find out more,”

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