New Year Newsletter from The Teddy Trust

This is to wish you a very Happy New Year and to thank you for all your support and generosity throughout last year.  We were able to send so many lovely teddies in 2017 and have managed some big shipments to children in Syria, Turkey, South Africa, Romania via the Hope Carriers Trust and Kurdistan via our friend Chris Mack and to Fiji through Physionet.

As you may know, we have a very small team to run the Teddy Trust but we all work very hard to get the many thousands of teddies that arrive every week sorted and packed.  One of our team, Jenny Thompson has written a little story about a Teddy’s journey from his first owner, a little girl in the UK, to his new owner abroad.  The story is for young children and is illustrated by Helen Howard and Danuta Wurm, but Jenny has endeavoured to tell a true story of what happens to your teddies when they arrive with us.  The story is available on our website – www.teddytrust.org.uk – and all we ask is that you send us a donation, whatever you like, to download it. 

We are entirely voluntary and rely on the generous support of people like you to be able to ship our teddies to children who so desperately need the comfort they bring.  All our boxes for packing are recycled and we continue to have the support of several major companies including our wonderful friends at KMB Shipping who gave us another free shipment to Syria last autumn, three in total now.  Many thanks to Kevin Jones and his team and to Keith Balmer and his wife Carolyn for their continuing support and help.  Over the past three years KMB Shipping have helped us send over 35,000 teddies to Syria and they have never asked us to contribute to their costs for the shipments so we are very, very grateful to them.

Children in Syria.

Last year we also managed to send three shipments to our friends in South Africa.  The teddies arrive in Cape Town and are then distributed by Rotary international to children who have suffered the most appalling abuse or abandonment.  Below are some of the comments we’ve received:

They said, the elder of the church was preaching about love. And kids were crying. I am happy especially the community kids, because some are living in difficult situations where gifts are unusual. May God continue to bless you and your team.

Children in South Africa

Thank you so much for our fantastic donation of teddy bears and soft toys for the Forensic Unit at Victoria! We love the teddies for the joy they bring to our children who come to the unit and it puts a smile on my face to give one away as well.

Kindest regards, Rhene de Villiers

This is an initiative of Adie Judes. It is the culmination of a collaborative Khyalitsha project of WIZO, the Rotary Club of Sea Point and the Teddy Trust in the UK. Just a little bit of imagination and a small effort can bring some sunshine into the lives of those who need it most.

(Dr Rhene de Villiers on the left)

Lin and Ian Pedrick are currently in South Africa distributing teddies to children supported by Sea Point Rotary.  Lin has become one of our Trustees and she and Ian are now a very important part of our hardworking team.

We continue to have the support and huge help of a major High Street Chemist and James Parkinson and his team ran a half Marathon on the 29th October  to raise awareness and funds for us. So a HUGE thank you goes to James and Ian Davies, Kate Oliver, Kirsty Middleton and Jade Murray.  See our website for more details of their wonderful effort.  James also made the two and a half hour journey down to us in November with 1200 teddies donated by many of his staff.  The van, kindly lent by DHL, was literally stuffed with bags of teddies!

James Parkinson and his team!

A huge thank you also to Liz and her wonderful team at White Stuff in Ludlow.  They have been collecting teddies for us for about a year and contact us regularly with car loads collected from people who visit the shop.  I have to say that I daren’t look too closely at all the lovely things on rails when I go to collect otherwise I would come out penniless!

This year we hope to send teddies to several other countries and charities that we have been in touch with.  We are experiencing problems with Customs in Turkey which we hope will soon be resolved and getting teddies into war torn countries does focus our minds somewhat!  However, teddies are arriving with us from around the UK on a daily basis and in their hundreds and we now have a huge stock of them packed and ready to go. If you know of any Aid organisation or Charity that could benefit from having teddies sent then do please get in touch via our website – www.teddytrust.org.uk – and we will contact them and talk through the possibilities.

Just before Christmas, Philippa and Warren Alexander wrote and directed, and indeed starred in, the hilariously funny Jingle Belles of St Trinians.  The show was fantastic.  However, due to deep snow falling before the second night, it had to be postponed and was then run again on the 6th January.  It was a complete sell out -standing room only at the back -and supported by people from far and wide.  And they managed to raise a whopping £1,251.42 which will go towards our next big shipment.  A HUGE thankyou to Warren and Philippa and all who took part for their enormous effort and wonderful support.  We were very thrilled and indeed touched by their generosity in putting this lovely, funny show on for us.

Finally, I shall leave you with this little letter which came recently from a child in South Africa.  It’s what The Teddy Trust is all about: