Bedfordshire Police inundated with Bobby Buddy teddies to support children
PUBLISHED: 12:02 24 November 2018
Bedfordshire Police have received nearly 200 knitted teddy bears to support children impacted by crime after an appeal to the people of the county.
The teddies, known as Bobby Buddies, will be used by officers and victim care co-ordinators at the force’s Signpost Hub when they talk to children.
VVC Zoe Davis, who is leading the project, said: “We are so grateful to everyone who has taken the time to knit one of the bears, which will be a great support for children who have experienced the trauma of crime.
“We are now starting to roll out the teddies and are handing them out to our community officers to use them as a communication aid and to comfort and reassure young children.”
The project is designed to help children feel like officers are approachable at a difficult time, while distracting them from the stressful and traumatic situation around them.
The first Bobby Buddy has already been handed out with the project being praised.
“The first Bobby Bear has been given to an eight-year-old who witnessed a hate crime,” said Zoe.
“Her mother said it has really helped and has made her feel a lot more confident about answering questions her daughter has around the racial abuse she and her mother were victim to.
“She said it was a lovely gesture to show there are good people in the community. She also said the bear has helped soften the hurt.”
Bobby Buddies were introduced by Dorset police who have allowed them to use their template, while Zoe has created a crocheting guide for knitters to use.
Assistant chief constable Jackie Sebire has backed the project, saying: “We are fully supporting the scheme, which is a great way of assisting young people at a difficult time.
“The Bobby Buddies will help them to realise that officers are approachable, are there to help them and are not someone to be scared of.”
To get involved in the project email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 08000 282 887.
To find out more about the Signpost Hub visit bedfordshire.police.uk/information-and-services/victim-care/support-services-for-victims.