PCC Barry Coppinger, Temporary Detective Inspector Jen Milsom and VCAS Manager Dave Mead with members of Nunthorpe and Marton Knitters group, with their trauma toy creations
Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger is calling on knitters across Teesside to create ‘trauma toys’ to comfort children affected by crime or sexual violence.
The soft teddies will be handed out to children who come into contact with Cleveland Police, Victim Care and Advice Service (VCAS), Teesside Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) and other victim services who come into contact with young people.
Over 100 toys have already been created by groups and individuals across Teesside, including Nunthorpe and Marton Knitters, Middlesbrough Trefoil Guild and Girlguiding Cleveland.
An appeal is now being launched to encourage more knitting groups across Cleveland to take part and create their own toys for children in need.
PCC Barry Coppinger said: “I’m extremely grateful to generous individuals already involved in the project for kick-starting our campaign and we would love other groups across Teesside to produce their own knitted creations.
“The toys will be a small comfort to some of the most vulnerable children in Cleveland’s criminal justice system, who are bewildered and frightened by the situation they find themselves in, through no fault of their own.”
A suggested knitting pattern can be found on the PCC’s website; however the Commissioner is keen to encourage original designs to appeal to a wide range of children.
Temporary Detective Inspector Jen Milsom is leading on the project for Cleveland Police, she said: “Crime can have a really serious impact on young children and as police officers, it is our responsibility to do what we can to support them and make them feel safe.
“These toys will play a part in helping officers build relationships and trust among young children, which is crucial in providing the best possible service for the public.”
Dave Mead, Team Manager at Victim Care and Advice Service, said: “We have already handed out a number of these toys to children who have accessed our service and to be able to make a child smile during a difficult time makes a huge difference.
“Crime has an impact on the entire family and last year we provided free advice and support to over 1,400 victims, so we want to encourage as many knitting groups as possible to get involved in the campaign.”
For more information, please click here: https://www.cleveland.pcc.police.uk/Take-Part/Trauma-Teddies.aspx
Suggested Knitting Pattern (PDF, 84KB)
Donation Guidelines (PDF, 84KB)
How to donate
Toys can be donated by dropping them off at the following locations:
Stockton Police Station
Middlesbrough Police Station
Bridge Street West
Hartlepool Police Station
Redcar Police Station
Cleveland Community Safety Hub
(Please note: this address will not yet show on navigation systems)
Posted on Tuesday 31st July 2018