The idea and set-up behind this sub-project developed when wanting to incorporate children into the project, and so I began ‘Teddies with Trachs‘.
Despite the project name, this part of the project involves making adaptions to teddy bears using whichever medical supplies/devices/equipment necessary.
When planning the project, my intention was to distribute adapted bears complimentarily to children facing daunting operations that will result in some sort of change/addition to their body (whether that be a simple 4 week plaster cast for a broken leg or an IV cannula, to more complex adaptions such as insulin pumps, feeding tubes, catheters, and, of course, tracheostomies), so that through a stressful and scary time, the child has a teddy to ‘match’ the child it was made for, as a tool of learning, understanding, befriending, and ‘normalising’ disability within society.
Aside from familiarising the aforementioned child with their own medical needs/conditions, (hopefully) makes them feel less ‘isolated’ or ‘alone’ by giving them the teddy to commend their bravery, teach them that having ‘extras’ on their body is nothing to be ashamed of, and use it as a visual tool when explaining their illness to their peers. This will hopefully make them realise also, that being different isn’t such a bad thing.
Unfortunately – the bears alone are far too pricey and far exceeding the budget set aside for the share of ‘Teddies with Trachs’. A finished, adapted and clothed bear, including postage, ranges anywhere from £20 to £40; a budget that the project just doesn’t have in comparison to the many children that would qualify and benefit from one.
In the interim of raising enough money to be able to supply lots of individual children with their own matching teddy, I am adapting a single teddy to include as many ‘medical extras’ as possible, (albeit having to search high and low and all corners of the internet for any items of medical equipment necessary), and little-by-little, I am sending a bear to each children’s hospital/children’s ward, with the intention of it remaining on the ward, as opposed to given to each child (although this is still the ultimate goal).
Also in the meantime of raising enough money and/or building up stock (of both teddies and also a range of medical supplies, equipment and and devices, I send the hospitals, in bulk, individual kits (‘Children’s inpatient Kits’ to be exact), with the intention of them being distributed to the children who are admitted to hospital.
To apply/purchase a bear for yourself/someone else, contact me via email (by clicking here).