Essex Freemasons’ Teddies for Loving Care welcomed young refugees from Afghanistan

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The London Search and Rescue is a charity of the Metropolitan Police which was recently deployed, at short notice, to support the British Red Cross (BRC) in the Afghanistan Resettlement Scheme and the Essex Freemasons’ Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) scheme formed part of the welcome package.

The London Search and Rescue team worked 24-hour shifts to be available for every refugee flight into Heathrow from Afghanistan. Its volunteer members supported the families with a welfare support system, alongside the BRC and other agencies. They provided immediate support in provisions, food clothing and, of course, the very popular teddies.

Operations Director Steve McGowan thanked Essex Masons for “helping us make a positive difference and bring a smile to so many children at a time when they needed it most”.

Today there are 47 regional TLC programmes across England and Wales that provide teddies for their local A&E departments. Once a hospital joins the scheme, they can replenish teddies on request through their local TLC representative. Some TLC programmes also donate a portion of their TLC funds towards teddies for minor injuries units, children’s wards and hospices; there are even teddies flying on air ambulances!  

Recent months have seen the introduction of a new model of teddy and Essex, as the founder of the scheme, is proud to have been the first Province to receive supplies for its hospitals, medical units and air ambulances.