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Long-serving PC Ted celebrates 25 years as a key member of the Norfolk force

PUBLISHED: 13:35 09 January 2017 | UPDATED: 13:35 09 January 2017

Dereham Lions member Keith Otty has been helping to co-ordinate the distribution of PC Teds for 25 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Dereham Lions member Keith Otty has been helping to co-ordinate the distribution of PC Teds for 25 years. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2016

He was created as a means of offering comfort to children at accident scenes and now, thanks to Dereham Lions, PC Ted is celebrating his 25th birthday in Norfolk.

Dereham Lions member Keith Otty has been helping to co-ordinate the distribution of PC Teds for 25 years. Picture: Ian Burt Dereham Lions member Keith Otty has been helping to co-ordinate the distribution of PC Teds for 25 years. Picture: Ian Burt

The idea for the cuddly teddy bear with specially embroidered jacket was born in 1990 by a member of the Lions club who heard about the scheme being used in some parts of New Zealand.

There the fire service gave away teddies to small children who had suffered a traumatic event.

Dereham Lions fundraised across Norfolk to buy 1,000 teddies for Norfolk Police and even involved prisoners at Wayland Prison to make small blue jackets from denim offcuts.

Norfolk Girl Guides were then given the job of stitching badges onto the jackets and PC Ted was launched, with the idea that each police car in the county carried two teddies each, to be handed out as and when they were needed.

When the contract with Wayland came to an end various sewing clubs and friends have undertaken the task of sewing the badges on.

PC Ted has also been used by police helicopters and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The scheme is co-ordinated by Lion Keith Otty from Toftwood, who has been involved with PC Ted from the start.

“I probably send 30 at a time to the police headquarters in Wymondham, every two to three months, when I have had enough jackets made to fill a box.

“It’s a great idea. We’ve never had any feedback from anyone who received one but I’m sure they would be a great comfort to a child. I hope it would help to calm them down.

“I joined the Lions in 1974 and have been involved in thousands of projects, so many different things over the years, but I have been helping distribute PC Teds since the start.”

* To find out more about Dereham Lions visit the website www.e-clubhouse.org/sites/derehamuk.

* Have you or your child received a PC Ted? Email kathryn.cross@archant.co.uk

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