Touching Lives - July 2008

Record-breaking year for Bring Your Bear

Bring Your Bear is held every year to mark the birthday of our fundraising mascot, and everyone’s favourite, Paddington Bear. Schools, businesses and organisations are invited to bring their teddies along for the day in exchange for a £1 donation to Action Medical Research’s Touching Tiny Lives appeal. This year’s success is especially fitting as 2008 is also Paddington’s 50th anniversary year.

Action Medical Research would like to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who has helped to make this the most successful Bring Your Bear ever. It has been great to hear about all the creative fundraising you have been doing. Here are some of the ways you’ve been marking the occasion.

Meir Heath School in Stoke on Trent has held Bring Your Bear events for nearly ten years. An excited group of children from Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 gathered in the school grounds for a sponsored walk. The youngest children kicked it off and teachers, staff and parents all got involved, helping the children round and stamping their cards after every lap. Afterwards 150 very weary children gathered under a tree for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic.

Other children’s groups, including Brownies, have also enjoyed fundraising with the iconic bear. One group, 1st Wadhurst Brownies, are also celebrating their 50th anniversary, and Paddington, never one to miss out on a party, dropped by to join the celebrations. Current and former Brownies exchanged fond memories of previous Bring Your Bear events, all accompanied by their bears.

Dudley Zoological Gardens also got in on the act. Local nursery groups took their teddies to the zoo for a day, and the children enjoyed craft activities, meeting farm animals and watching the brave Dr Dudley feed the bears! The day was such a success that they will be doing it all again next year.

Charity partner the Bakkavor Group invited their Bring Your Bear fun day at their Paddington Central site in London. Everyone had a terrific time, enjoying competitions, games, Paddington stories and a demonstration of weird science by Action Medical Research supporter Professor Heinz Wolff. And who should turn up for the picnic lunch but Paddington himself, rounding off a very special day that the children will remember for a long time to come.