Spen Valley children donate teddies for refugees

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Caring kids across the Spen Valley have donated 60 teddies to send to child refugees seeking shelter in Europe.

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The gifts have been collected to bring smiles to the faces of little ones fleeing war and terror in their home countries, with one teddy’s label reading: “When you hug me, remember that someone loves you.”

It was all part of Project Paddington, which encouraged children from churches, schools and groups in Hartshead, Hightown, Roberttown and Scholes to make a show of support. Cash donations totalling £375 also came flooding in within a few weeks.

The Rev Richard Burge, vicar of Hartshead, Hightown, Roberttown and Scholes, said: “We launched the collection here in the middle of our two Refugee Prayer Sundays. People had a month to bring us their teddies.

“I think the biggest thing for me was that it enabled us to do something that makes a difference to the people on the ground.”

“It was great to add to our prayers this additional act of kindness – and something which has come from our churches, our schools, our pre-school, our Brownies and Rainbows – it has really been something that has been picked up by lots of different people within our community who have wanted to make a difference too.”

The teddies joined the Rev Burge’s teddy, Tubby Tigger, and were sent on their way. Their journey began on Thursday, November 19, making stops at Sheffield and Kent to join countless other bears that have been donated by children across the UK, before travelling across to mainland Europe.

The Rev Burge added: “Soon the teddies that left our benefice will hopefully be bringing smiles to children who are a long way from their homes.

“Our teddies will end up anywhere that there is a refugee camp, anywhere that there are children many miles from their homes, who we hope will know that when they get a teddy that there is someone who is thinking of them.”

Project Paddington is an initiative set up by a group of mums in Sheffield who wanted to provide an opportunity for children in the UK to show that they care and want to show their support to people caught up in the current crisis amongst refugees.

To find out more about the project, visit projectpaddington.com