“These bears truly have filled our hospices with love“
Our Personal Health Budget Team at The Hospice Charity Partnership is always looking for new and inventive ways to support our patients and their families. One of their many projects includes making memory bears, in partnership with family-run company Splodge Teddy Parties, with some having a voice box inside for a person to record a message and give to a loved one to remember them by.
Splodge Teddy Parties kindly donated a bag of more than 40 ‘imperfect’ unstuffed bears to The Hospice Charity Partnership, including clothing and accessories. Teams across the hospice got their heads together and decided on asking patients at the Living Well Centre at John Taylor Hospice if they would like to lend a paw to help with filling the bears and dressing them.
Jan Hipkiss, Clinical Lead Social Hub, says: “The patients absolutely loved it! They grasped it with both hands and really enjoyed the activity of stuffing the bears, they even came up with the slogan ‘Filled With Love’.”
“The generosity of Splodge Teddy Parties has made such a difference to the whole hospice“
Julie Bennett, Day Hospice Service Lead across both sites, adds: “The Living Well Centre patients were more than happy to help put them all together, and the staff got involved too, helping to wrap them all in gift bags and ribbons! The patients absolutely loved it, and they would love the opportunity to help out with anything like that again.”
The bears were shared out equally to clinical teams across Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice and John Taylor Hospice for them to gift to patients of all ages.
Debra Gregory, Clinical Nurse Specialist, says: “There’s a lady staying in the Inpatient Unit at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice who is registered as blind and had to go to hospital for a small procedure. To comfort her one of the members of staff gave her one of these bears. She took the bear to the procedure and it gave her so much comfort, she actually named it ‘Cuddles’ as she wanted to cuddle it.
“We wholeheartedly couldn’t have done this without the support of Splodge. The smallest things can make the biggest difference”
“Another patient at Birmingham St Mary’s only has one visitor who is an elderly lady who lives quite far away and gives up her time to visit him every day as he has no other visitors. He was given the bear but wanted to give it to his visiting friend and she really appreciated it. It was quite emotional as it was a gift from him, and it made him very happy to do that for her.
“A young lady at John Taylor who has breast cancer and an ulcerating breast wound, is in a lot of pain meaning she is finding it hard to have physical contact with her young children. The ward staff gave her a bear for each of her children, and one for herself, and said to her children ‘when you want to hug Mommy you can hug the bear, and when I want to hug you I will hug my bear.’ So it gives her a way of communicating with the children – even when they are not by her side at the hospice.”
The bears have also had an amazing effect on the staff members across the hospices.
“I think it is amazing how it has touched so many people,” Jan adds. “The generosity of Splodge has made such a difference to the whole hospice, it has been a lot bigger than just giving them a teddy bear – these bears truly have filled our hospices with love.
“Our people work in such an emotional place, so to do something like this that makes a real impact for our patients and their families does wonders for staff wellbeing too. We wholeheartedly couldn’t have done this without the support of Splodge. The smallest things can make the biggest difference.”
A huge thank you to Splodge Teddy Parties for their ongoing support to The Hospice Charity Partnership who have made such an amazing difference to our patients, families and staff across Birmingham.