On this occasion, there are no safeguarding concerns because Freemasons up and down the country give teddy bears to hospitals so that children who attend there can feel better about their situation by cuddling a teddy.

Jesse Riley, the charity steward for Cromwell with Papyrean Lodge is the new TLC representative of Freemason for Bury District and he is learning the ropes of the arrangement. Although Fairfield, the local hospital, is no longer seeing children, it may be useful to have a small stock of teddies for those rare occasions when a child is accompanying one of their parents and the child is feeling vulnerable. Jesse is speaking to staff at Fairfield to see how this can be arranged.

Jesse is expecting the main source for the distribution of teddies will be at Grace’s Place (Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice) which is situated on the site of the old Bury Hospice on Dumers Lane Bury.(See picture above)

It was originally intended that Grace’s Place would be opening as a children’s hospice several years ago, but there were a series of problems which meant that the hospice never opened. The building has now been taken over by an established company in the children’s hospice sector called Forget Me Not, and it is up and running, providing a service to young people and their families. I am assured there is no connection with the original Grace’s Place other than the location and the name.

The funding for the teddies is through the East Lancashire Masonic Charity. The sum of £2,000 was recently donated by the ELMC to Bury District Freemasons to ensure that Grace’s Place will be well stocked with those cuddly bears. The first of the TLC teddies for Grace’s Place will soon be on order, and once again, Bury District’s Freemasons will be giving Teddies for Loving Care to local children.