“I don’t know who the guy at the end is but he’s making an ass of himself!” photo courtesy of Natalie Thurgood
Just when you thought TLC teddy bears couldn’t get any cuter….they have! The bears have been given a makeover and now have a heart-shaped nose, a matching coloured ribbon and are even more cuddly! Every bear has a stitched in label that says ‘DONATED BY LOCAL FREEMASONS Teddies For Loving Care delivers special teddies to hospitals bringing relief and a smile to children in distress.’
On the other side of the label there is a space for a child to write the name of their bear. These new teddies will start to be distributed to the hospitals in West Wales once our stock of the old design is exhausted, which will probably be in the next couple of months.
TLC began in 2001 in Essex and since then 47 of the Provinces have adopted the scheme. Over 3 million teddies have now been distributed, and they have become an invaluable tool for medical professionals and a real comfort for children traumatised by sickness or injury.
The Province of West Wales took up the scheme in 2005, and we have now provided over 30,000 teddies to the A&E hospitals in our Province i.e. Glangwili, Withybush and Bronglais, plus the Minor Injuries Unit at Prince Philip hospital, Cardigan hospital and Tenby Walk-In centre.
All photos courtesy of Natalie Thurgood
** Now that we are moving closer to resuming normal activities, I would like to make it known that I have various TLC related promotional materials that could be made available for display in Masonic halls or at local events. I have 2 floor-standing banners, plus a stock of posters and leaflets. I also have a few of the actual bears for promotional purposes. The banners, posters and leaflets have been personalised for West Wales and carry our Coat of Arms and contact details. TLC is as great example of Freemasonry in the Community and it’s always a pleasure to be able to tell people about the scheme and how children love to receive the teddies. It’s a scheme of which we as Freemasons can be rightfully proud.
The promotional materials have been provided by the Masonic Charitable Foundation who are now the central administrators for TLC. They also have TLC merchandise available, for example 8 different designs of lapel pin including the Welsh Rugby Teddy in the picture!
Once our lodge meetings are up and running again, I could circulate some of these lapel pins, and if brethren would like to buy them for £5 each I’ll make sure the proceeds go to the West Wales 2026 Festival!
For TLC information call Steve Thurgood 07974-004682 email firstname.lastname@example.org