The Health Tree Foundation The Health Tree Foundation

School girls deliver a ‘beartastic’ good time to dementia patients

Best friends Annabelle Binns and Catherine Jolley pupils of St Bedes Catholic Voluntary Academy have helped deliver a beartastic experience to dementia patients on ward 22 at Scunthorpe General Hospital.

Annabelle and Catherine decided to help dementia patients after Catherine’s mother Sue Jolley had attended the Trust’s best practice day, where staff gather together to celebrate a variety of events which have had a positive impact in the Trust hospitals. Operational matron Tess Tasker delivered a talk on the day explaining how cuddly teddy bears help engage with dementia sufferers.

Sue fed the talk back to Annabelle and Catherine. The girls felt they could engage with helping the community to get involved and so facilitated their grandmothers to help create the cuddly toys to donate to the ward.

Donors Annabelle and Catherine said: “We never realized that giving something so small could make such a difference to patients.

“We asked our grandmas to help us create the bears, as we do not have enough knitting skills.”

Patients with dementia can find coming into hospital an especially confusing time. Giving them a teddy bear it has been found to help them interact, communicate with staff and help to reduce their likelihood of withdrawing into themselves from what is happening around them.

The teddies can help alleviate agitation or distress, giving the patient a sense of ownership and responsibility which can be extremely beneficial.

Operational manager Tess Tasker said: “It is exciting to see local student’s facilitating an adventure to support dementia patients in hospital.

“I would like to personally thank the girls for their help and to their grandmas for helping create the wonderful teddy bears”.

The Health Tree Foundation (HTF) is the official charity for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, and currently have an appeal named ‘Golden Leaves’ to help dementia patients who attend Scunthorpe, Grimsby and Goole Hospitals.

If you would like any information about the appeal or how you can get involved please contact HTF community champion Hayley Thompson: 03033 305672 or email:

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