A major family attraction in Yorkshire has responded to a plea on social media of a local nine-year-old girl, Maggie, resulting in thousands of donated teddies. Stockeld Park raided its grotto to gift 3,000 teddy bears to Maggie’s mission for the Teddy Trust.
Maggie heard about the Teddy Trust, a small charity that donates teddy bears to children in war torn countries, from her mum, Lyndsay Snodgrass.
Lyndsay said: “When I told Maggie about it, she was inspired to start a collection of teddies to donate. Originally, she thought that she might get 20 or so teddies from her friends. She asked me if I could put something on social media to appeal to the people of Harrogate, and her ambitions grew to 1,000 after enlisting the help of local estate agents Verity Frearson. Then Stockeld Park contacted us saying they heard about Maggie’s Appeal and wanted to donate 3,000 teddies! Maggie was speechless. Her collection is now around 4,000. We’re slightly daunted as the bears will take over our home as we sort, pack and deliver them to the Teddy Trust.”
Darren Smith, Events and Entertainment Manager at Stockeld Park, said: “We heard young Maggie’s aim was to reach 1,000 so we were thrilled to help her smash that target. As a family attraction, we were all bowled over by young Maggie. Running a busy Santa’s grotto every year, you see how young children’s eyes light up – teddies are a gift of comfort and love. Donating a teddy to cuddle to over 4,000 children in dire circumstances is a commendable act of kindness and care by Maggie.”
One of Britain’s most famous teddies, Paddington Bear, captures hearts as a refugee from Peru with his message of kindness, inclusion and tolerance.
The Teddy Trust sends teddies to children around the world who are suffering from the traumas of war, starvation or abuse, with the mission: ‘Never underestimate the healing power of Teddy.’ The charity has sent teddies donated by UK children to those in Syria, Kenya and Malawi. See www.teddytrust.org.uk
Photo credit: Gerard Binks