Bears for those in need of a hug

Bears for those in need of a hug

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Armadale SES deputy manager Connie Eikelboom appreciates the donation of bears. Photograph — Matt Devlin.
Armadale SES deputy manager Connie Eikelboom appreciates the donation of bears to calm people when faced with a traumatic situation. Photograph — Matt Devlin.

The newest members of the Armadale state emergency services (SES) unit were 20 centimetres tall and covered in fur.

The bears were donated to the unit by craft shop owner Kay Cooper and would be given to people in distress.

Armadale SES deputy manager Connie Eikelboom said while it was a novel idea the bears worked well to calm children or other members of the public who were coming to terms with an accident or disaster.

“We go to somebody and if the roof has blown off their house and the kids bedroom is flooded, we can give the bears to distraught kids or if a kid has gotten lost and we find them,” she said.

“It can also be for alzheimer’s patients we find in a distressed state because they’re very much attached to things like teddy bears.”

Cottonwool creations owner Kay Cooper said the SES was just the start and she was hoping to be able to donate the bears to every ambulance and police vehicle in the state.

“My brother is an ambulance officer in Canberra and we’ve talked about it and when people are being picked up by police or the ambulance they’re at their absolute worst,” she said.

“It used to be people made knitted bears and all that sort of stuff but the laws have all changed and they have to be in plastic and be 100 per cent child proof.

“A friend of mine in Kentucky put me in contact with a company called good bears of the world and they make bears that can be handed out to the public.

“That’s what we’ve decided to do for no other reason than to make people feel better.

“We want to get them to anyone who is in need of a hug.”

Ms Cooper said each bear costed $10 and while she would continue to do her bit she said any donations to order more would be appreciated.

To find out how to donate call 9495 1876 or visit cottonwoolshop.com.

Peter Clark and Connie Eikelboom from the Armadale state emergency services unit with one of the bears. Photograph— Matt Devlin.
Peter Clark and Connie Eikelboom from the Armadale state emergency services unit with one of the bears. Photograph— Matt Devlin.