Gloucestershire children receive huggable Build-A-Bear teddies

By Chris Hill · December 20, 2019

WellChild santa

Children from Gloucestershire with serious health conditions had a fantastic time at a Christmas party where Santa handed out huggable teddy bears thanks to a partnership between WellChild and Build-A-Bear.

The special bears come with a message inviting their families to join the WellChild Family Tree support Group. They were given out as part of a fun Christmas party at Milestone School in Longlevens, Gloucester on Thursday December 19th.

Father Christmas was on hand to give children their bears, accompanied by princesses from Little Dreamers Events. Phil’s Children’s Parties provided a magic and puppet show which kept the children entertained and a mini disco with bubbles. Refreshments were provided by Asda.

The bears handed out in Gloucestershire are among thousands winging their way to seriously ill children all across the UK this month to promote the WellChild Family Tree which is a growing network of families from across the UK, all of whom have children with exceptional health needs. It enables parents to feel included, supported and listened to. The WellChild Family Tree is free to join and connects families caring for children with exceptional health needs across the UK through online and face to face groups.

WellChild has been selected as Build-A-Bear’s UK Charity this Christmas season and every time someone buys a £20 gift card from December 3rd to 15th, Build-A-Bear Workshop will donate a bear to one of the children WellChild works with throughout the country. The aim is to distribute as many as 5,500 bears. Customers can also add a donation to all their Build-A-Bear purchases in stores and online which will come to WellChild to support the charity’s work with seriously ill children and their families across the UK. This year is the first of the partnership between WellChild and Build-A-Bear with plans for the future already underway.

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said: “Thanks to the support of Build-A-Bear we have a fantastic opportunity to let families of seriously ill children know about the great support they can get from WellChild’s Family Tree network. Being the parent and carer for a seriously ill child can be a very lonely thing and having support from families who are going through the same things you are can be tremendously valuable.”

Emily Fuhrman from Build-A-Bear Workshop said: “We are honoured to support WellChild and their work with the families of seriously ill children this Christmas season. At Build-A-Bear, we believe in the power of hugs and the simple comfort of having a furry friend by your side.  Our hope is these teddy bears bring joy to children throughout the UK and help families connect with others experiencing similar circumstances.”