The ‘Crafty Ladies’ community group in Northowram have been knitting away to make over 100 handmade ‘trauma teddies’ for West Yorkshire firefighters to give out to children who have been affected by a fire, or have been caught up in any other kind of frightening incident, like for example, a crash.
The ladies, who meet once a fortnight at Northowram Library, are no strangers to making crafty creations for charitable causes.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) used to give out ‘trauma teddies’ to children at incidents, but hasn’t had them for years.
The idea behind the teddies was that firefighters could give them to distressed children at incidents to offer them some comfort.
The Crafty Ladies heard about the trauma bears from member Adela Illingworth, whose husband Paul serves as a firefighter at West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and works as part of the Urban Search and Rescue team.
Adela said: “I made a couple, then 20, then I got a few of the ladies involved and here we are!
“I was really happy for our ‘gang’ to make ‘trauma teddies’ for such a good cause. There are now over 100 bears and we are still knitting more!”
The bears, depending on size, take hours to knit. Although some are quite large they are small enough to be held snugly by a child, knitted in colourful wool with smiles and eyes stitched on.
Halifax Station Commander Dom Furby met up with the Crafty Ladies at Northowram Library to collect the bears, and was even met with coffee and cake!
SM Furby said: “For the ladies to have produced the bears is hugely appreciated and greatly received – I can’t thank them enough.”
The ‘trauma teddies’ will be individually wrapped and will be sent out to all districts across West Yorkshire. Each station will receive around five teddies initially but the ladies are still knitting so there will be more to come (hopefully in fire kit!)