Yuri Bears offer hope to Ukrainian children

Some of the Raymond Terrace Lions and friends that have been participating in creating Yuri Bears for Ukrainian children.

YURI BEARS are cute, hand-knitted teddies from Australia providing immense comfort for the children of Ukraine.

Members of the Raymond Terrace Lions Club have been making Yuri Bears to send to children who have been displaced and may have lost some or all of their belongings in the war.

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Annette Clark, one of the members of the Raymond Terrace Lions Club, told News Of The Area, “The story of the Yuri Bear goes all the way back to Russia’s Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

“Following the tragedy at the nuclear power plant, a Ms Richardson fostered a displaced eleven-year-old-boy named Yuri from Ukraine.

“After she reconnected with him three decades later, the idea of the teddy bear was born.

“Named in Yuri’s honour, the teddies are now being given to a new generation of displaced kids in the now war ravaged Ukraine.”

A small but mighty group are meeting on Tuesday afternoons from 1pm – 3pm for the next five weeks at the Raymond Terrace Men’s Shed, who have very kindly provided access to their premises in order for the Lions to undertake this project.

Knitting needles will flash faster than you can blink, wadding will be stuffed into the bears and needles will finish each bear with a friendly smile, nose and eyes.

“All attempts to teach the men to assist with this knitting have failed, but we would like to invite anyone within the community who would like to come along for an afternoon of fellowship.

“You do not need to be able to knit (or crochet), we need help with sewing the teddies up as well as filling and finishing.”

So far the ladies have enjoyed making over 130 Yuri Bears, taking joy in being able to help people that they will never meet.

“Tea and coffee will be provided and the laughter is a bonus for all that contribute,” she said.

Anyone interested in coming along and helping, please call Kate on 0409228075, or simply attend the Raymond Terrace Men’s Shed, 17G Irrawang Street, Raymond Terrace on Tuesday 1pm – 3pm.


Yuri Bears all ready to go to Ukraine with some of the Raymond Terrace Lions and members of the community that have embraced the program.

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