The Danish businessman and entrepreneur Bjorn Stiedl, who now mainly lives in Paris, has initiated a new charitable organisation, Foundation Ours en Peluche, (the Teddy Bear Trust) to raise funding for a more comforting environment when young children are submitted to hospital.
It is the aim to raise enough funding to secure that all children will be receiving a teddy bear when submitted to a Parisian hospital.
Being admitted to a hospital is often a scaring and intimidating experience, especially for a child. Although parents and staff alike do their best to alleviate the childrens anxieties as well as their ailments, they cant be around them 24/7. And it is often during the small hours of the morning that the children feel most scared and insecure.
Studies have shown that teddy bears have a positive effect on children who are admitted to a hospital. The teddy bear gives the children something safe and secure, and also a companion who can support and comfort them on their own level. Furthermore, health workers can explain the childs illness through the teddy bear. This also alleviated the childrens anxieties.
Therefore giving the children a teddy bear when they are admitted to the hospital for long-term treatment is a very simple and humane way to improve the childrens experience when being in the hospital.
It is Mr. Stiedls hope that all formalities can be finalised by January 2009 so that negotiations for delivery of teddy bears with individual hospitals in Paris can commence.
Hospitals are big and bureaucratic organisations, and implementing new routines and procedures take time, Mr. Stiedl says Issues regarding safety and health such as fire proofing, hygiene, etc. is of course also issues that has to be dealt with
Bjorn Stiedl continues; When we have an overview of the level of interest among the various clinics and hospitals, and when we approximately know how many teddy bears we have to hand out on a yearly basis, we will commence the fundraising.
Bjorn Stiedl has already developed a model for the funding. I will arrange for successful restaurants to add 1 Euro per bill they hand out during lunch and dinner service. It is entirely voluntary for the restaurant guest if he wants to pay the 1 Euro teddy bear donation. If the restaurant guest doesnt want to pay, fair enough, 1 Euro will immediately be deducted from the bill, but Im convinced that this will be a very small minority.
As soon as all formalities are in place, staff will be engaged to engage participating Parisian restaurants.