Children in Ayrshire's two biggest hospitals have been supported by a generous donation of teddies.

Ayrshire Freemasons have made the ongoing donation, which will help children attending the Emergency Departments (ED) at both Ayr and Crosshouse Hospitals.

The kind-hearted members of the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire (PGLA) have donated teddies, which will be given to children attending the EDs to help make their time in hospital a bit easier.

Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) provide comfort to children attending the department and helps to reduce the shock and stress of their experience, while also building a bond with staff.

Since 2001 the teddies have been distributed to hospitals throughout England and Wales, and NHS Ayrshire and Arran is the first NHS board in Scotland to receive the donation.

Billy Grant, from the Provincial Grand Lodge of Ayrshire, said: “The PGLA is always looking to give donations on behalf of the Freemasons of Ayrshire to local charities and good causes.

"We found out about the Teddies for Loving Care project in Ireland and thought that we could maybe do something similar in Ayrshire.

“So, the PGLA decided to support the project, and donated TLC teddies to the Paediatric Emergency Departments at University Hospitals Ayr and Crosshouse."

Mr Grant added: "The nursing staff can then give a bear to a child who may be in pain or traumatised while attending the Emergency Department.

“It has proven to be successful in other parts of the UK to help children focus on something other than their distress or discomfort and helps the nurse gain the confidence of the child to help carry out any necessary procedures.

"The child keeps the bear as their own.”

The first batch of teddies were delivered to the hospitals by Jim Bell, Provincial Grand Master, and Billy Grant, Substitute Provincial Grand Master. The PGLA will continue to fund future boxes to be delivered as required.

Caroline Dickson, clinical nurse manager for Ayr ED, added: “These teddies will mostly be used by our emergency nurse practitioners, who see the majority of children when they present with an injury.

"A teddy will go a long way in putting anxious and upset children at ease, and will also help the ENP nurses when they are reviewing the children.

“On behalf of NHS Ayrshire and Arran, I’d like to thank the Freemasons for their kind donation.”