Thousands of seriously ill children celebrate National Teddy Bear Day with Rays of Sunshine

Little girl sits on the hospital floor, while holding a teddy bearChildren and young people across the UK were invited to celebrate their fluffiest friends on 9 September as part of National Teddy Bear Day.

Teddy bears are often some of our earliest and most long-lasting companions, and the annual National Teddy Bear Day celebration is dedicated to showing off how much we love them.

Rays of Sunshine sent out thousands of teddy bear building kits to hospitals in the run up to the day, so that everyone had a cuddly companion to celebrate with. Older children were also gifted bears from YouTuber collective The Sidemen, who are long-standing supporters of the charity.

Time spent in hospital can be tough for everyone, but it can feel especially scary and lonely for children. We believe in the power of play and positive distraction to help create precious memories and combat isolation. Even something as simple as a teddy bear can help.

On top of actual teddy bears, Rays of Sunshine delivered a suite of digital resources to ensure everyone had the “bear necessities” to enjoy National Teddy Bear Day. These included bear-themed activity sheets, colouring in, teddy origami and a super special scavenger hunt.

The children at Leeds Children’s Hospital were among those who took part in the day.

Michelle Stephens, Play Leader at Leeds Children’s Hospital, says: “The bear building kits have been brilliant for patients and have really put a smile on their faces today. It’s lovely to have a different activity that we can use to help distract children from any challenges they’re facing.

“Cuddly toys are a lovely thing to make in hospital and take home, it helps patients to take away positive memories. Everyone loves something cuddle when they’re not feeling their best. We’re really grateful to Rays of Sunshine for delivering this wonderful activity.” 

Karen Miles, Hospital Services Manager at Rays of Sunshine, says: “We are so happy to have brought teddy-themed fun to so many children for National Teddy Bear Day.

“The power of play cannot be underestimated, and we’re proud to work with hospitals across the UK to spread a little sunshine with these bears. Days like National Teddy Bear Day and the joy they bring helps to create precious memories and smiles during difficult times in treatment.”

National Teddy Bear Day is just one of many amazing projects our Hospital Services team work on year-round to ensure seriously ill children can better enjoy their time in hospital. You can find out more about our programme here.

Image courtesy of Leeds Children’s Hospital. 


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