National Hug a Bear Day7 November, 2018
Today is National Hug a Bear Day and we’re celebrating the comfort that these cuddly companions bring to a child in care.
Over the next 12 months, it’s expected that more than 30,000 children will come into care and sadly, many of these children may come into care with very little personal belongings, just the clothes on their backs. Things like precious teddy bears may be left at home and some children may not have ever been given one at all.
Coming into care can be particularly scary for a child, as they’re faced with a new home, unfamiliar faces and house rules that are alien to them; not to mention the stress of being separated from their parents in the first place. Yet, something so small as a teddy bear offers great comfort in a world of unknown.
When a child is placed with one of our foster carers, we deliver a thoughtful ‘Memory Box’ to help them settle with their new family – and this always includes a teddy bear.
Our local teams will look at the child’s age, gender and any other information they’ve been given by the Local Authority and create a memory box filled with gifts personalised to their interests. Along with a cute, cuddly teddy bear, these boxes can contain anything from disposable cameras, for capturing all those special memories, to puzzles, painting sets, books, diaries, money boxes and more.
We also encourage the children and carers to use these boxes to save all their favourite memories and experiences in one place – everything from shells they’ve collected on trip to the beach trip, to school reports and more. Many carers will also print out photos, laminate and label them, so the children have something to look back at when they’ve grown up and help to make sense of their childhood.
While coming into care is a traumatic experience for a child, we hope these memory boxes can help to bring a sense of comfort and stability as they move in with their foster family for the first time and beyond.