Firefighters in Daventry have been gifted a new tool to help people in need – hand-knitted teddies.
Known as trauma teddies, the bears were knitted by the community as part of the 2017 Daventry Arts Festival, organised by the town council.
They are now being distributed to the emergency services, to be handed out to provide comfort to children and adults following traumatic events.
On Monday, September 25 more than 25 knitted bears were given to the crew at Daventry fire station by knitter Daphne Bowhill and Cllr Lynne Taylor, Mayor of Daventry.
Station manager Neil Sadler said: “The trauma teddies are a lovely idea and it’s really great for us to be able to support the community in this way.
“For young children in particular it can be hard to understand what’s going on at an incident, so a simple distraction like being given a bear can help take their focus away from potentially upsetting circumstances.
"It also helps us build a relationship and turn the experience from negative to something more positive.”
The teddies will be kept in Daventry’s fire engines, ready to be given out as needed.
Mrs Bowhill, who has been knitting since she was a child, said: “When I heard about the trauma teddy idea I thought it was brilliant.
"I hope the bears can bring a smile to people in difficult circumstances and give a bit of comfort, whatever their age."
Councillor Taylor added: “Trauma teddies were part of the Arts Festival for the first time this year and the idea has really taken off.
"We’re delighted that Daphne and all the other knitters have contributed to it – they may think it’s only a small thing to knit a teddy, but it’s a big thing that will hopefully help people in distress.”
More teddies will be handed to the police and ambulance service in the coming weeks.
Knitters are welcome to continue making trauma teddies, which can be dropped off at the council offices in New Street, Daventry.
Download the pattern for knitting a trauma teddy here.