For some time, we have been trying to build up some funds in a new Provincial Grand Master’s charity fund and having now managed to bring the total to an acceptable level where we can start dispensing some of the proceeds, (some monies were released as a donation to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal), I am pleased to announce the first project.
Some of you may be aware of the Teddies for Loving Care Scheme which currently operates within England and Ireland and is now being expanded to other Grand Lodges. I am pleased to say that following consultation with staff at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, the first teddies have been delivered to the Accident and Emergency Unit for dispensing to children who have arrived at the hospital following an accident.
The scheme is directed at children aged generally between 1 and 5, who have suffered a sudden traumatic injury, broken arm, burn, etc. It is not directed at children arriving for a pre-planned operation as they will usually have brought a favourite toy with them.
Experience has shown that the child will take great comfort from being given a bear to handle while receiving treatment and to thereafter take home with them. Other than a small label attached to the bear to state that it is a gift from local freemasons, there is nothing to indicate the source of the bear.
Since its inception, over 15 million bears have been provided at A&E units throughout England and Ireland but for some reason, the scheme has never been extended into Scotland. to the best of my knowledge, there has been no uptake so far north of the border and the Provincial Grand Lodge of Renfrewshire West in association with the staff at IRH will be the first to trial the project. It is hoped that other Provinces might also take up the scheme and some samples have been provided to one of our neighbouring Provinces for them to consider.
It is unlikely that the cost of this will be very high but it is also felt that it is a nice way of providing some loving care to children in the area. If you would like to know more about the TLC project go to http://www.tlcappeal.org/
I hope that you will support this effort.
Bro. James Livingstone PGM