Things are about to get bear-y exciting in schools across Wiltshire and Dorset, as we're inviting teachers and children to take part our first Big Teddy Takeover.

Schools are encouraged to host their Big Teddy Takeover during this year’s national Children’s Hospice Week, from 19th to 25th June, with the aim of raising essential funds and awareness for Julia's House.

The event is kindly being sponsored by the Wiltshire-based legal experts, Wansbroughs.

“The idea is simple but lots of fun,” said Julia’s House fundraiser, Claudia Hickin. “Children and teachers are invited to bring in a cuddly toy and a £1 donation for Julia’s House on a day of their choice in June. And if they’d like to make their Big Teddy Takeover even bigger, they could add onesies and slippers, book and bake sales, teddy bear picnics, teddy-themed lessons and more.”

Julia’s House children’s hospice looks after the most seriously ill children and their families in the charity’s hospices in Devizes and Corfe Mullen, and in families’ homes across Wiltshire and Dorset. We receive just 8% ongoing government funding and rely almost entirely on donations to provide our lifeline of care.

Isabella with Nurse Molly

Children’s Hospice Week aims to raise awareness and funds for palliative care services and children’s hospices like Julia’s House and the families they support.

Claudia said, “The children we care for all have life-limiting and life-threatening conditions. They need specialist, round-the-clock care for these complex conditions and that can be incredibly hard on their families.

“Our team of nurses and carers don’t just care for the seriously ill child, they also look after the children’s siblings, parents and grandparents too. We help them however we can, whether that’s with clinical care and respite support in the home or hospice, fun weekends away for sisters and brothers or complementary therapy and practical help for mums and dads.”

Julia’s House first began in Dorset as the dream of paediatric nurse, Julia Perks. Now in our 20th year of care, we support around 200 families across both Wiltshire and Dorset.

Isabella with her teddy at Julia's House

One of the children cared for by Julia’s House is six-year-old Isabella Chan, from Amesbury. Isabella was born with chronic lung disease and needs extra oxygen to help her breathe. She has to carry an oxygen cylinder with her wherever she goes, including on the swing when she’s playing with our nurses and carers. Isabella loves cuddly toys and one of her favourite teddies is her Fuggler, which sometimes comes with her on her hospice visits.

Sign up to the Julia’s House Big Teddy Takeover >>