Kenilworth church group helps police launch new 'Buddy Bear' scheme

The Knitting Group at St Barnabus's Church and an officer with the Kenilworth Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT)
The Knitting Group at St Barnabus's Church and an officer with the Kenilworth Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT)

An innovative new scheme is being launched that can support children in times of distress or emergency.

It's all down to the ladies of the Knitting Group of St Barnabus Church, Kenilworth and Police Community Support Officer Rachael Clayton, who is part of Warwickshire Police's Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) for Kenilworth.

The Knitting Group at St Barnabus's Church contacted Kenilworth's SNT and asked if they would like some knitted teddy bears to give out to children, after hearing that other police forces have a similar scheme, but that Warwickshire do not yet benefit from this. PSCO Rachael Clayton discussed and accepted the kind offer and the ladies have been busy knitting "Buddy Bears."

It's a simple idea that could make all the difference to a child. Over the next few weeks, PCSO Rachael Clayton will be talking to a selection of police officers in South Warwickshire about helping pilot a scheme and making Buddy Bears available to them.

The idea is that the Buddy Bears will go on shift with officers who respond to incidents.

A Buddy Bear can be offered where an officer thinks it might be helpful at an event they may be dealing with to provide some comfort or distraction to a child. This also helps to create some common ground between the police and child in the event that a police officer has to visit them on more than one occasion.

PCSO Rachael Clayton said: "It's wonderful that the group at St Barnabus have made this offer and have already knitted us 20 Buddy Bears as a start.

Buddy Bears

Buddy Bears

"This scheme could make all the difference to a child, and it's great that some officers in Warwickshire Police, who are synonymous with the Warwickshire Bear that's on their cap badge, are going to pilot this scheme."

PC Marie Holt, one of the beat managers for Kenilworth SNT, said: "We have a great community in Kenilworth. This kind offer and Rachael's engagement with the group at St Barnabus shows how policing, and the community can come together to help one another and make a real difference".