Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Close-knit department supports beary good cause

Wednesday, 30 August 2017 9:30pm

distraction bear collage
Staff and students in the Department of Women's and Children's Health knitted an impressive collection of teddy bears to add to distraction packs for children undergoing medical procedures at Dunedin Hospital's Emergency Department.

Experienced and beginner knitters from the Department of Women’s and Children’s Health got their needles out for a good cause this winter – knitting more than 50 teddy bears for children at Dunedin Hospital.

The bears are included in “distraction packs” at Dunedin Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) – which are given to children to distract them from medical procedures. Alongside the bears are colouring pencils, a pad and bubbles. ED requires around 500 bears each year.

"Being part of the Medical School we work closely with our DHB colleagues, so we thought it would be a good idea to support them."

Women’s and Children’s Health Administrator Amanda Phillips says when she saw the pattern in a local wool shop and put it in the Department’s tearoom, many of her colleagues in the close-knit Department got on board.

“Being part of the Medical School we work closely with our DHB colleagues, so we thought it would be a good idea to support them,” she says.

The experienced knitters started the process, and those who didn’t knit bought wool. One staff member was a beginner knitter and got right into making the teddy bears, even making tiny scarves, while another staff member’s mother made bears and sent them south from the North Island.

“It was a project that bought people together and generated much discussion,” Ms Phillips says.

The bears were gifted to ED, and with this project stitched up, the team is now moving onto new projects – knitting beanies and blankets for the hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).

Meanwhile, they have passed the distraction bear idea on to colleagues in other departments – and hope others will follow their pattern.