Dalkeith pensioners pick up pins in aid of Children’s Charity

Rita Carroll, Alice Cathie and Irene Bishop at Bield's Whitehill Lodge in Dalkeith.
Rita Carroll, Alice Cathie and Irene Bishop at Bield's Whitehill Lodge in Dalkeith.

A close knit group of tenants at a Dalkeith retirement development have teamed up with Police Scotland to create cuddly toys to help youngsters bear with traumatic events.

‘Trauma Teddies’, which will be kept in police cars around the country and given to distressed children, have been knitted by three talented tenants from Bield’s Whitehill Lodge in Dalkeith.

Over the last few weeks, Alice Cathie (81), Rita Carroll (87) and Irene Bishop (68) have knitted a large collection of colourful bears using Children 1st’s ‘Trauma Teddies’ knitting pattern.

Yvonne Boyle, manager at Whitehill Lodge, said: “The ‘Trauma Teddies’ scheme started in Dundee a few months ago. It was only recently that we managed to get our hands on the pattern.

“This is the first time our tenants have done anything like this, even though all three do knit. Mrs Cathie and Mrs Carroll knit periodically, while Mrs Bishop does it day in day out – it is her main hobby.

“I know later in the year Mrs Bishop is planning to bring a festive flavour to her knits, with penguins, Christmas logs, snowmen and Santas.

“I think the Trauma Teddies project has really inspired everyone and is for such an important, often overlooked, cause. It has really brought the community together to produce something that will bring calm and comfort.”

First launched in Dundee back in May, the ‘Trauma Teddies’ scheme runs in conjunction with charity Children 1st. Finished bears are sent to the charity to be dressed in a Children 1st t-shirt before being distributed to police vehicles across Scotland.

Sergeant Lynne Robson, from Police Scotland’s Community Safety Department, said: “Police Scotland is very grateful to the residents of Whitehill Lodge who picked up their pins and knitted a large number of Trauma Teddies which will be issued to young people in distress across The Lothians and Scottish Borders.

“The development and use of Trauma Teddies will form part of a range of options to support young people experiencing a traumatic event.”

Children 1st provides local and national services to help families to put children first, with practical advice and support in difficult times. The charity helps families prevent, protect and help their children to recover from traumatic experiences, such as abuse, neglect and bereavement. For more information on the charity and the ‘Trauma Teddies’ scheme, visit www.children1st.org.uk

Whitehill Lodge in Dalkeith is a Bield development for those aged 60 and over who want to be able to retain their independence while having help on hand when needed.

Bield has been providing high quality housing and related services for older people in Scotland for more than 40 years.