19 November 2015 – Cuddly Friends For Young Fylde Patients North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is used to cuddly bears with their mascot ‘Pandamedic’, but thanks to a group of Freemasons in Blackpool young patients will now have the comfort of a TLC teddy on their way to hospital. Picture: NWAS Paramedic Chris Veevers being presented with the teddies by representatives of HFAF on the Fylde Coast. During an emergency it can be very distressing for a child to travel in an ambulance. In order to make the journey as stress free as possible the cuddly friends will be given to children, making them feel more relaxed and helping crews administer treatment to young patients. The Honorable Fraternity of Ancient Freemasons (HFAF) provides teddies to Accident and Emergency units and ambulance services for children in severe distress. Since the appeal began the HFAF has distributed over one million teddies to emergency services. NWAS Motorcycle Paramedic Chris Veevers, who worked with HFAF to get the supply of TLC teddies, said: “HFAF have done a fantastic job in raising the funds and donating the TLC teddies for our young patients here on the Fylde Coast. “Children can become very scared whilst in the back of an ambulance and it’s important to keep young patients calm. A number of the TLC teddies have now been placed on NWAS vehicles on the Fylde Coast in order to provide comfort and support to children. There is a limited amount, so we’ll have to give them out sparingly. “This is a great example of two organisations working in partnership to improve the experience of young people whilst they’re in our care – a big thank you to HFAF for all their support.” The teddies are placed individually in a plastic bag for infection control reasons and this is disposed of before the teddy is given to the child – they are then free to take the teddy home with them.