First Specially Commisioned TLC Pin Presented

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In a follow up to our recent article highlighting the support that TLC Northumberland were giving to the NHS, Social Care and Frontline Workers Day in early July we can now report on the presentation of the first specially commisioned TLC pin to W.Bro Dave Watson of Tyne Lodge No.991, which meets at Wallsend Masonic Building.

Alasdair Watson, APGM and Chairman of TLC Northumberland, said “I’m delighted to present W.Bro Dave Watson with this special TLC pin to mark him out as the TLC Ambassador for the Wallsend Masonic Hall. W.Bro Dave has successfully raised the profile of the TLC in Wallsend, rasing thousands of pounds to enable TLC Northumberland to help ease the fears of young children in hospital when they are given a TLC bear.”

Dave explained how he came to be involved with TLC Northumberland and about the satisfaction he gains from being a building ambassador.

“It is approximately 20 years ago when the Teddies for Loving Care began in The Province of Northumberland with W.Bro Mike Harris as its head. Mike contacted me and invited me to join the TLC team with the aim of fund raising to buy Teddies. I had read about the TLC beginning in Kent or Essex and its aim to put the teddies into Hospital Children’s A & E, which I thought was a brilliant idea. I took to this like a duck to water and have enjoyed every minute of my involvement in this wonderful part of Freemasonry.

I remember sitting at a committee meeting and the secretary reading a letter out loud from a 5 year old boy who had received a Ted whilst in hospital. It was a very emotional letter from one so young (probably aided by his mother) but 6 grown men around the table were in tears. Following that there was no giving up on the TLC.

Hospital staff love the calming effect the teddies have on young children which enables them to discharge their duties more easily. That is the reward I personally get out of being involved with this aspect of Freemasonry which I consider to be a Flagship of our wonderful organisation. I also get a great deal of pleasure from the attitude of our brethren when approached for donations or buying raffle tickets to buy more Teddies. I’ve spoken to families at the County and Glendale Annual Shows whose children have a TLC teddy and they are extremely grateful for the effect it made.

Long may it continue!”

TLC is a national programme, locally-led by Freemasons across England and Wales. Support and enthusiasm for the initiative continues to grow, with more than three million teddies distributed nationwide to over 200 hospitals. Most of the money raised to purchase and distribute the teddies comes from Freemasons themselves through lodge donations and fundraising events. 

The bears provide much-needed comfort to children in hospital departments and wards, helping to reduce the shock and distress of their experience. Every child that receives a teddy gets to take it home. 

TLC Northumberland is looking to recruit highly motivated, creative and dynamic individuals to act as TLC Building Ambassadors to take responsibility for TLC fund raising in their respective buildings. So Building Ambassadors can be identified they will also be presented the specially commissioned TLC pins,

Think you have what it takes to take on this important and interesting role, and help make a difference to a child’s experience in hospital? Then get in touch with TLC Northumberland at tlc@pgln.org.uk and one of the team will get back to you to discuss it further.

If you have a story, event or news item you would like to have published on the Provincial website, please get in touch with the Provincial Communications Team at news@northumberlandmasons.org.uk

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