IN emergency situations, a child can experience significant trauma.
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The mental health and wellbeing of children in Raymond Terrace and surrounds is high priority for the Lions Club of Raymond Terrace, and they have put in place some cuddly friends to help these children through potentially very difficult times.
Operation Teddy Bear began in Victoria 30 years ago, and has recently spread to other states.
The program sees community groups like Lions Clubs of Australia donated teddy bears to emergency services personnel so that they may offer the teddies to comfort a child whose family has been made homeless, a child involved in a road accident, or a child affected by domestic violence or sexual assault.
Inga Kasch from Raymond Terrace Lions completed the handover with President Judith Bee.
Inga told News Of The Area, “We are so pleased to be involved in the program, and to be able to help,”
“We gave some to John Hunter Hospital, and some to our Police here in Raymond Terrace.”
“We thought we could help to lessen the burden of some terrible situations for these young kids, a small token to help in a vulnerable situation.”
“I know it will also help the Police to see the children in these situations are emotionally eased by being given a bear,” she said.
The Lions Club encouraged the Police to call them if they run out of teddies, anytime.
It is hoped they never will, because that would reflect children being safe and out of danger across Port Stephens, but it’s a heartwarming thought that comfort is there whenever needed.
Inspector Tony Townsend told News Of The Area, “These teddies will compliment the use of the DV house in Raymond Terrace and our emergency accommodation, and it’s a little something that can help a child while support services make arrangements for children and families.”
“On behalf of the Police and these children, I thank you.”
“We see what the Lions do in our community, and we are so so thankful,” he said.
By Rachael VAUGHAN