Hospice healing hearts with huggable teddybears

Children with their huggable teddybears.

Children with their huggable teddybears.

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Foyle Hospice hosted a presentation with a difference on Tuesday night, when nearly 40 children were involved in making cuddle buddies.

The children, aged between four and 16, were participating in a new project for children, ‘TribuTed’ in Foyle Hospice’s Healing Hearts Bereavement Service and affected by the loss of a significant adult in their lives.

The key challenges were to secure relevant funding and identify someone who could facilitate the teddy making workshops; Vicky Patterson, of Memory Bears by Vicky, was appointed and has continued to contribute her own time to helping deliver the project, together with a group of committed volunteers at Foyle Hospice.

The project was made possible through the partnership approach of the DM Thomas Foundation for Young People £10K Giveaway 2015 run, Hilton Belfast, Hilton Templepatrick and Belfast Evening Telegraph’s Sunday Life.

The TribuTed Project is a concept mooted late last year by CEO, Donall Henderson and put into motion following discussions with Children and Young Persons’ Facilitator, Michelle Kosky and Director of Nursing Yvonne Martin. It began with a pilot project and blossomed to involve double the number of children since the most recent workshop.

Paying tribute to those running the workshops and project, Ms Kosky said: “We were so lucky to have Vicky lead these workshops along with our amazing volunteers, Breege McNutt, Christina Cowley and Joan Stewart. They were so patient with the children.”

The children attended a number of workshops to choose fabrics and designs that meant something to them personally.

Mr Henderson said: “Loss is difficult for anyone, but even more so for young children. I hope that when they feel sad or want to be close to their loved one that the TribuTeds will bring the comfort that they need.”

Healing Hearts Bereavement Service is open to all children faced with loss.

For more information on Healing Hearts or to contribute in any way, contact Michelle Kosky by telephoning 02871 351010 or email michellekosky@foylehospice.com