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The Trauma Teddy story

Since 1990, Australian Red Cross has been distributing Trauma Teddies to children who are experiencing illness or trauma.

Over 1 million trauma teddies have been given to children as a result of the dedicated and hard work of our volunteer knitters.

It is the goal of Red Cross to help those in need in the local community, nationally and internationally. 

Date Milestone
1990 Trauma Teddy is born thanks to the initiative of Richard Hamilton.
1991 The first Trauma Teddy is handed out to a child. This is the first of many times Trauma Teddy will bring comfort to a child experiencing illness, trauma or distress.
1997 The first Australian Red Cross Trauma Teddy Fundraising event is launched. Trauma Teddies are normally 32cm tall. Australian Red Cross knitted the World’s Largest Teddy Bear – a giant Trauma Teddy that stood at 5.15 metres!
1998 Birth of the Trauma Teddy mascot – Trauma Ted!
1999 Introduction of National Trauma Teddy Day on November 23. Trauma Teddy badges go into production, to be sold on National Trauma Teddy Day.
2001 500 Trauma Teddies are sent to New York to provide comfort to school children affected by the September 11 attacks.
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 to be handed out to children affected by the Kashmir earthquake.
2010 Trauma Teddy celebrates their 20th birthday!
2012 Tourin’ Trauma Ted attends the London Olympics
2014 Limited edition red, white and black Trauma Teddies are launched to mark the 100 year anniversary of Australia Red Cross.
2017 Special creation of Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Teddies to be handed out at Yabun festival in Sydney.
2018 The Trauma Teddy program now involves over 600 volunteer knitters, who help distribute over 50,000 Trauma Teddies around the country!

The Trauma Teddy story began as such

Chapter 1

Once upon a time there was a Trauma Teddy who lived on a shelf in a hospital.

It was a very busy place and there were always a lot of people around, but the Trauma Teddy had a secret.

He was lonely.

He had been waiting for a long time for a friend.

And not just any friend – a best friend.

Trauma Teddy knew when he had set out on his journey to the hospital that he had an important job to do. All Trauma Teddies knew this.

One day they would be given to a child who was sick or upset, and it was their job to make them feel better.

It was maybe the most important job of anyone in the hospital.

Chapter 2

So the Trauma Teddy was lonely, but he also knew to be patient.

He had to be ready for when his child needed him.

Many more days passed. Then one night, when it was very late and the hospital was very quiet, and Trauma Teddy was just about to fall asleep, there was suddenly a burst of noise from outside the room where Trauma Teddy lived.

A doctor came running in to get one of the nurses.

A little girl had come into the hospital with a broken arm.

Trauma Teddy was suddenly wide awake. This was it! He knew, deep down, that it was his time.

After some hours passed, one of the nurses came back into the room and picked him up off the shelf.

Chapter 3

“We need your help, Trauma Teddy,” she said to him.

“Lucy is 8 and we’ve fixed her arm, but she’s still upset. I think you can help cheer her up.”

She carried Trauma Teddy down the hall and into a room where Lucy was sitting up in a hospital bed. Her left arm was all wrapped up in a cast and she had a sad look on her face.

“Miss Lucy,” said the nurse. “I’ve brought you a new friend!”

The nurse handed Trauma Teddy over to Lucy who held him up to her face.

Trauma Teddy smiled at Lucy. He wanted to make her happy again!

After a minute passed, Lucy smiled back and hugged Trauma Teddy tight. Trauma Teddy was happier than he had ever been – he had finally found his best friend

.All over Australia there are lots of other Trauma Teddies just like ours waiting to find their child – a best friend – so they can make them happy and bring them comfort.

After all, every child deserves to have someone to hug when they’re sick or upset.