TLC - TEDDIES FOR LOVING CARE
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We have now developed a good working relationship with senior administrators in both Altnagelvin and Causeway Hospitals and as a consequence received permission to instal our 6 foot tall roller banner stands in A&E.
The stands are now on display in the Children's A&E in Altnagelvin and in the A&E's in Causeway and Letterkenny. We have also held an Awareness Day in the main entrance foyer of Altnagelvin Hospital in December which attracted a great deal of interest and permission has been granted for one in Causeway as well.
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The Origins of the Appeal and the Compulsive Idea
The TLC Appeal originated after an allergic reaction suddenly caused the swelling and blocking of the windpipe of the wife of a Freemason. Her life was saved by the rapid action of the medical staff at an A&E unit, who were able to resuscitate and stabilise her. They are both eternally grateful for the swift and caring attention that she received, but found the experience the most frightening of their lives and speculated on the distress that children must face when visiting A&E units.
The idea of doing something useful for medical staff at A&E units was discussed with other local Freemasons, and from that point the compulsive idea of “Teddies for Loving Care” was born.
Most of the money raised to fund the Appeal comes from Freemasons themselves through lodge donations, but we also receive some donations from grateful individuals and the sale of TLC merchandise e.g. other teddies (not the ones supplied to hospitals) and lapel pins.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland support the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) Appeal and aim to provide teddy bears to every hospital in Ireland that has an Accident & Emergency Department in order to help distressed children.
Not every child visiting A&E will receive a bear. The medical staff use their discretion and will give a bear to a child that is suffering particularly from trauma, injury or illness. They use the bears to befriend the children, to reward them for being brave and in some cases to demonstrate what they are going to do.
The Province of Londondery and Donegal provides TLC teddies to the A&E units within the Province i.e. Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry, Causeway Hospital in Coleraine and Letterkenny Hospital in County Donegal.
As the TLC Appeal is a Masonic initiative, it’s pure nature has also benefited Freemasonry, by raising the level of public awareness of the contribution made to the community by Freemasonry, a greater understanding of the principles on which Freemasonry is founded, and how those principles are exercised in the modern world.