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Sep 17, 2017 #charity

Recently at a celebration dinner to mark the 300th anniversary of the United Grand Lodge of England, Northumberland Freemasons gave away £300,000 to local charities. Now however, it was the turn of younger members of the region to benefit at a giant Teddy Bears Picnic.

As part of the Tercentenary Celebrations a themed teddy bears picnic was held for school children from Northumberland and Newcastle.

The initiative hosted by Masonic Charity, Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) saw more than 200 children from schools in Newcastle, Morpeth, Berwick, Hexham, Alnwick and Cramlington enjoy a teddy bear trail, a picnic box, entertainment by colourful fairy tale characters and of course the obligatory teddy bear was given to every child.

The teddy bears picnic was coordinated by freemason Dennis Frazer assisted by several members of Masonic Lodges and Northumberland Scouts who turned out to ensure the event was a success.

“It’s been a great day for the children with fine weather and lots of fun. We’ve given each child a teddy as a reminder of their day out, “said Dennis.

“The event highlighted the fact that Freemasons have donated more than two million bears to children who are attending hospitals and A&E units. Medical staff use the bears to befriend the children, to reward them for being brave and in some cases to demonstrate what they are going to do. It’s a great charity doing a lot of good work and it’s great to show the people of Northumberland what we do.”

The schools that attended were Barndale School, Alnwick, Lowick First School – Berwick, Shanklea Primary School – Cramlington, Hexham Priory School – Hexham, Collingwood School & Media Art College – Morpeth and Hadrian School – Newcastle                                              

Ian Craigs, Provincial Grand Master for Northumberland was delighted with the picnic.

I’m very proud of the work that the TLC does to help children when they are experiencing trauma in their lives. The simple gesture of giving a teddy to a distressed child helps to reassure them and allows medical staff to carry out their vital work more effectively.  Our teddy bears’ picnic has made more people aware of the good work of the TLC and freemasonry in the community so that we can help many more children at a time when they need us most.”

By Emily