Teddies soften the trauma

Queensferry Parish Church.  ''Teddies for Tragedies
Queensferry Parish Church. ''Teddies for Tragedies

Hand-knitted teddy bears from Kirkliston and Queensferry are offering comfort to children in Syria.

Village minister, the Rev Maggie Lane, recently visited Jordan and Lebanon where Tearfund is helping Syrian refugees.

Maggie took with her six knitted teddies donated by Jean Hall, which proved so popular that a plea for a futher 500 bears was made. And the response was incredible.

South Queensferry Church donated 250 bears and between the Kirkliston congregation and volunteers from the Borders to the Isle of Lewis, more than 900 Teddies for Tragedies have been donated.

Three million people have fled the violence in Syria with no more than the clothes on their backs; more than a third of them are children.

Maggie was deeply moved by the plight of the refugees.

She said many of them had nothing except the clothing that they were wearing.

And the effect of the trauma they had witnessed was palpable.

Even the children were traumatised by their experiences and Maggie was able to recall the hardships they had suffered by looking into their eyes.

She said: “They had no energy and witnessed sights no child should ever see.

“Families had travelled long distances by night with small children to the nearest border, often going without food and water for days.

“Syrian refugees face cold, harsh conditions during the winter. As we think about buying presents for our children, can we remember the children of Syria too?”