Chris Harvey and Bessie Simpson with the trauma teddies.
Chris Harvey and Bessie Simpson with the trauma teddies.

TALENT FOR TEDDIES: Knitting for those in need

AS CORONAVIRUS restrictions forced many of the region's residents inside, one keen knitter has spent the time putting her skills to good use.

Long-time Proserpine resident Bessie Simpson has spent the past few months hard at work knitting trauma dolls used by ambulance officers and firefighters to help keep children calm during an emergency.

Mrs Simpson, who was a tailoress, first started making the teddies in 2010 when after a stint in hospital for a knee operation.

After a few years break, she picked up the teddy-making trend again when coronavirus restrictions came into play.

"My sons said to me 'You stay home Mum' while that virus was on," she said.

"So that's when I got around to knitting those teddy bears. They aren't as good as they used to be, but still."

Mrs Simpson has lost count of how many she has knitted over the years but said it was good to be able to help the community while keeping busy herself.

Local ambulance committee volunteer Chris Harvey said the trauma teddies played a big part in helping children feel safe and reassured in an emergency.

"When you go to an incident that involves kids, (the teddies) help keep them calm," he said.

"If an ambulance officer has to wrap or put a band aid on the kid, they do the same to the teddy bear, and it helps distract them."

Mr Harvey is also an auxiliary firefighter and said he had seen the power of the teddies in play first-hand.

At one incident, he said one of the children on scene was more concerned about showing their mother the new teddy bear than the emergency going on in the background.

Mr Harvey thanked Mrs Simpson for her generous donations and encouraged the community to take a look at how they could help by visiting the local ambulance committee Facebook page.


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