Show you care by funding a comfort bear

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The Children’s Bereavement Centre in Newark has enlisted the help of its special teddy bears to launch its Christmas fundraising campaign during Children’s Grief Awareness Week.

The charity, which supports hundreds of children and their families each year, is asking the public for donations of just £6 – the equivalent of what it costs to buy a teddy bear that will comfort a bereaved child during the festive period and beyond.

The Children’s Bereavement Centre presents hundreds of bears each year to those who access its services, which is just one of the resources they use to help children express their feelings and cope with their grief.

‘When I’m sad, I can always hug my bear’ is the strapline for the campaign being launched today to promote the significance of these bears for a child experiencing loss.

Caz Froggatt, Corporate and Community Engagement Co-ordinator at the Children’s Bereavement Centre, explained: “When a child has experienced significant trauma, from which they may be getting flashbacks, they are encouraged to cuddle and stroke their teddy bears until the feelings pass.

“Everyone manages their grief in different ways, but most can relate to the support and comfort that a teddy bear can provide; they are synonymous with feeling safe and are also used in all sorts of crisis situations by hospitals, police forces and in social care thanks to their ability to help a scared, hurt or grieving child to handle fear, anxiety and the unknown by easing stress and soothing tears.”

Donations will also help raise vital funds to ensure the charity is able to support even more children next year, and are especially crucial following a recent cut to its funding of over £25,000.

Caz added: “Our campaign has been months in the planning and we’re excited to see it being launched during Grief Awareness Week, which runs from Thursday 16th until Wednesday 22ndNovember.

“The theme for the week this year is ‘you are not alone’, which fits perfectly with the support we provide – including our comfort bears.

“Keep an eye on our social media channels, where we’ll be sharing poems and genuine stories from the point of view of the children’s bears.

“We understand this time of year is notoriously expensive for most people, but we rely heavily on support from the local community so are grateful to anyone who is fortunate enough to be able to spare a few pounds to help children struggling to cope with the loss of a loved one.”

To donate £6 to the Children’s Bereavement Centre, text ‘BEAR06 £6’ to 70070 or visit www.childrensbereavementcentre.co.uk/comfortbear.