The Trauma Teddy story

A long, long time ago in a place not far from home the story of our caring bear began.

In the year the first web server was created, Bob Hawke headed up the country as Prime Minister and Midnight Oil was topping the charts, a new teddy was born.

Since that day in 1990, Trauma Teddy has helped comfort countless children through times of crisis. 

How the story came to life

1990 NSW Ambulance Superintendent Richard Hamilton observes the calming effect of a teddy given to a child being treated in an ambulance. The idea of Trauma Teddy is born. The call goes out to Red Cross volunteer knitters and they swing into action.
1991 The first child receives an official Red Cross Trauma Teddy. This is the first of numerous more to bring comfort to a child or adult experiencing illness, trauma or distress.
1997 The first Australian Red Cross Trauma Teddy Fundraising event is launched. To mark the occasion the World’s Largest Teddy Bear is knitted – a giant 5.15 metres tall!
1998 Birth of the Trauma Teddy mascot – Trauma Ted!
1999 National Trauma Teddy Day on November 23 is held for the first time. Trauma Teddy badges go into production.
Children airlifted out of Mallacoota after the Summer Bushfires are given a Trauma Teddy, colouring book, crayons and a hand written note by Red Cross volunteers. January 2020
2001 More than 500 Trauma Teddies are sent to New York to provide comfort to school children after the September 11 attacks.
2002 Children in Bali receive Trauma Teddies after bombings in the tourist district of Kuta.
2003 A partnership between Red Cross and Lincraft is launched. Wool donation bins are rolled out across the country.
2005 A crate full of Trauma Teddies is sent to Pakistan and handed out to children affected by the Kashmir earthquake.
2010 Trauma Teddy turns 20 years old!Trauma Teddy turns 20 years old!
2012 Tourin’ Trauma Ted attends the London Olympics.
Trauma Teddy celebrates 100 years of Red Cross in Australia. 2014.
2014 Limited edition red, white and black Trauma Teddies are launched to mark the 100 year anniversary of Australia Red Cross.
2017 Specially created Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Teddies are handed out at Yabun festival in Sydney.
Female prisoners send a beautiful thank you to knitters after receiving Teddies to hand to their children as Christmas presents. 2018.
2018 The Trauma Teddy program now involves over 600 volunteer knitters, who help distribute over 50,000 Trauma Teddies around the country!
2019 It is estimated that by now over 1 million Trauma Teddies have been hand-knitted and given out.
2020 Children evacuated from Mallacoota aboard naval ships during the Summer Bushfires are given Trauma Teddies.
2020 On 23 November Trauma Teddy turns 30! We estimate a mind-blowing 7.5 million volunteer knitting hours have been spent lovingly hand-knitting Trauma Teddy over the 30 years. 

Thanks for Trauma Teddies and the knitters who make them

“It’s great to be able to reduce anxiety and fear for children when they are injured or unwell. An ambulance can be a bit scary, but with these teddies on board it will be a little bit less so.” Ambulance station, North Sydney

“In a time of uncertainty, especially with COVID-19 restrictions taking a step back here in Victoria, Trauma Teddies help provide comfort and ease people’s minds away from stressors.” Peninsula Health

“They play such a vital comforting role in the hospital, calming down children in stressful situations and also educating them about what is happening.” Hospital administrator


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