Adorable teddy bears have found places in the hearts of children who have been treated in hospital.
Thousands of bears have been donated by the Burnley and Pendle District Freemasons.
Known as the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) the toys have been given to children being treated in the urgent care care centre at Burnley General and Royal Blackburn teaching hospitals.
Over the past decade, the freemasons have visited the hospitals every couple of months, each time donating 72 TLC bears to help take children’s minds off their illnesses and injuries.
As a result, the organisation’s 10-year association with East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has seen in excess of 6,500 TLC Bears delivered.
Age UK Officer, Yvonne Dwyer, said: “Thanks to the freemasons, the TLC Teddies help to relieve distress for the children and take away the worry of being surrounded by strangers.
“The children love them, and the staff find them really useful to build a rapport with children and their parents.
“And the best part is that the children get to take their bears home with them after treatment.”
Staff can use the bears to befriend a worried child, give them as rewards for being brave and also demonstrate medical procedures.
It costs £5 for two TLC Teddies or £2 for teddy lapel badges. Donations can be made online at www.tlcappeal.org/.