Our very first mention of Teddies for Loving Care was in relation to their arrival at the A & E Department of Craigavon Area Hospital, on the 7th September 2013, making them the first Northern A & E Department, to receive their Teddies. Now every Accident and Emergency Department in Ireland have their own supply of bears to distribute to incoming child patients, and we continue to get very positive feedback from Doctors, and other front-line Hospital Staff. It appears that Ted has been very successful in deflecting child patients and preventing them from getting too worried about their immediate medical problems..
Brethren around Ireland began fundraising to meet the £ 37,000 annual costs of funding the scheme. In that time we have had Lodge auctions, raffles, charity runs, barbeques, Lodge collections etc and then in June 2014, along came the Brethren of Iveagh Lodge. Their idea was very novel in that their Secretary proposed to invite Frater Brian D’Arcy along to a Hall where they could sell tickets and have an evening of discussion and chat on the life of this well known and fascinating man. The event proved to be very popular, and a larger venue had to be found to accommodate all of the Brethren, Friends and guests that bought tickets. The event was held in the Jethro Centre in Lurgan and ultimately raised some £ 3,300-00 ( Three Thousand Three Hundred Pounds ) which has now passed on to the coffers of Teddies for Loving Care.
Clearly the efforts from Iveagh Lodge No 184 have not passed unnoticed and Bro Colin McKusker, the Mayor of Craigavon very kindly invited a party from Iveagh to come along to his Parlour and mark the magnificent collection lifted in support of the Teddies for Loving Care funds. There was a good turnout of Brethren from the Iveagh Lodge along with Rt Wor Bro Ivan Boreland Assistant Provincial Grand Master of Down and Rt Wor Bro Ian Ritchie of the Banbridge and District Charity Committee.
Brethren, like me, I’m sure you are all watching with interest to see what novel fund-raising ideas will be promoted this year, to keep our funding on track for the year 2015. We need an average of £ 100 per Lodge per year to sustain the fund and I know that the Trustees would like to have some money in reserve in case any other unexpected demands arise. You may be interested to know that in the last couple of days Teddies for Loving Care have had a stall in the Royal Victoria Hospital, which was well supported by members of the General Public using the Hospital. Indeed the whole Teddies initiative, has generated great interest and support from the Public at large, which can only be good for the Order at large.