Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AFR&S) recruits a special crew of trauma teddies thanks to a local organization. The 200-strong-crew will be spread out across the Service to ride on trucks alongside firefighters and specialist equipment.
The cuddly crew will then be handed out to children involved in traumatic and upsetting incidents who are distressed or in need of reassurance and emotional support.
Small Act Of Comfort
This gives us an opportunity to engage with children and lessen the impact of a situation"
Kindly knitted by the Knowle Townswomen's Guild in Bristol, it is hoped the teddies will help to make a real difference across the Service area. Darren Clasper, Risk Reduction Watch Manager at AF&RS, said: “We are absolutely delighted that this group of extraordinary women have come together to provide these trauma teddies. We often attend upsetting emergency incidents and we see children in distress who don’t understand what is happening and why they are there.”
“As a Service, we understand how scary these experiences can be so any small act of comfort, such as a teddy, will go a long way. This gives us an opportunity to engage with children and lessen the impact of a situation. For that, we cannot thank the Knowle Townswomen’s Guild enough.”
Road Traffic Collision
Each fire engine around the service will carry at least two bears at any one time so they can be gifted to children in need, from those at a fire, road traffic collision or simply locked in a bathroom. The remainder of the bears will sit with the Children and Young Person department and will be handed out at schools and safeguarding.
AF&RS is also a keen advocate of mental health and wellbeing, and has taken big steps
AF&RS is also a keen advocate of mental health and wellbeing, and has taken big steps recently by providing wellbeing spaces, Trauma Risk Management, and family and wellbeing officers across the Service. The Knowle Townswomen’s Guild, which kindly knitted the bears, is celebrating its 90th birthday this year and has been key in supporting women and the community throughout the years.
Encouraging Environmental Change
Members have been involved from everything from Women’s Suffrage Societies, raining money to plant trees, encouraging environmental change and campaigning on mental health. Stella Tratt, of the Knowle Townswomen’s Guild, said: “We are delighted that AF&RS have accepted our offer to provide them with trauma teddies.”
“I have distributed the knitting pattern to all the Townswomen’s Guilds in the Avon area and, while there is still a need, we will carry on knitting!”