'Please reach out': Hope that teddies can help those struggling to bear up

'Please reach out': Hope that teddies can help those struggling to bear up

One of the Teddy Bears in Dublin earlier this year. On Sunday, Cork Penny Dinners and Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery Team are joining forces to place teddy bears of hope across Cork City. Pic courtesy of Mick Ryan

CORK Penny Dinners and Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery Team are joining forces to place teddy bears of hope across Cork City for those who are struggling with their mental health.

On Sunday night, Cork Penny Dinners and Cork City Missing Persons Search and Recovery volunteers will be placing a number of teddy bears in different locations across Cork City, in the hopes of offering a message of support to anyone who is having a difficult time or struggling.

The teddy bears will be placed on bridges, the Marina, the Lee Fields, Mardyke Walk and a number of other locations across the city, acting as beacons of hope.

Each teddy bear will have a solar light along with information for Pieta House’s Helpline phone number and a 24-hour text number for anyone in need of help or a person to talk to.

In addition, the teddy bears will have a positive message to remind people that they are loved while the solar light will act as a guiding light to help for anyone who is struggling in Cork.

The idea first began with Mick Ryan, a volunteer with Pieta House in Dublin, who started placing the teddy bears, along with the solar lights and information for their support lines, in different locations last year.

Mr Ryan lost his son to suicide 17 years ago, and he has been involved with Pieta House for a number of years.

Now, the idea has been adopted in Cork and Caitriona Twomey from Cork Penny Dinners said that they are hopeful the idea is something that will gain traction across the county.

“It’s a very simple idea and the idea of the solar light is that it will light up the sign so you will be able to see the numbers and also they will see the bear which will hopefully be a symbol of hope." 

Those interested in having a teddy bear named after a loved one or in distributing the bears in their own area can get in touch with Cork Penny Dinners.

Currently, Ms Twomey said that they have over 100 of the bears and they are hoping to distribute them across Cork.

“It will be our way of just telling everyone that there is a number that you can reach out to. Please reach out,” she added.

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