Thursday, 27 August 2020 - 1:54pm

Blanket bears spread the aroha

2 min read

News article photos (3 items)

bears karen
bears lucy
bears skylight

Young victims of crime are receiving a little bit of comfort thanks to a family with a big heart and a big helping of creative skill.

When Senior Sergeant Karen Ellis heard her friend Julie and niece Kerena wanted to hand over three boxes of the teddy bears they make out of old blankets to support Police’s work, she suggested Victim Support.

bears kerena

Bear creator Kerena.

Victim Support, based at Police National Headquarters where Karen works in the National Command and Coordination Centre, has distributed the 100-plus bears to families in need through two partner organisations.

“Each bear was lovingly hand-made by a very humble mum and her niece, then named and tagged by her granddaughter, Lucy,” says Karen. “The bears are made from prewashed pure wool blankets are individually packaged and named as a bear that ‘loves cuddles’.”

Victim Support Senior Communications Advisor Linda Lim says they were delighted to be able to distribute the bears through Skylight Trust and Woven Earth.

Skylight Trust supports people of all ages throughout New Zealand who are facing any kind of tough life situation, but specialise in grief, loss and trauma.

They gave the bears to young people and families attending forums and workshops during their Loss and Grief Awareness Week last month, and give them out on an ongoing basis as they work with children.

Woven Earth works on referral to help family violence survivors rebuild their lives by furnishing their houses to create a home for them to start the next chapter of their lives.

Victim Support recently signed an MOU with Woven Earth and supported an application to fund ‘care packs’ for homes where family violence victims will be relocated to. The bears will be included in those packs.

“These two amazing organisations are ones that we work with closely to support children and young people through tough times and family violence survivors to rebuild their lives,” says Linda.

“We’re grateful to Julie and Kerena for their generous donation. Thanks so much and we have no doubt these bears will bring much light and joy in their new homes.”

The two charities received the teddies after New Zealand emerged after the first round of COVID-19 lockdown.