Welcome to Teddy Bears Without Borders

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Teddy Bears Without Borders is a community project with the goal of donating handmade teddy bears to children in Australian immigration detention centres on mainland Australia, Christmas Island, and Nauru. We also hope to raise awareness of the plight of children and families in detention and build support and understanding within the wider Australian community.

Many refugee and asylum seeker families in Australian immigration detention suffer a variety of mental health issues which directly arise from being detained with little certainty about their future. Mothers, fathers and children frequently suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and in these circumstances children are particularly vulnerable. As a result, parents find it increasingly difficult to provide the level of emotional support, comfort, and attention that children need. Teddy bears can be an important tool to enable children to ‘self-soothe’ (for example, when they wake from nightmares), and they may also provide comfort and reassurance, relieve anxiety, and promote feelings of nurture and love.

The need for resources for children to cope has been identified by trained mental health professionals working within the detention system. There are currently (as at October 2014) between 700 and 800 children held in Australian-run immigration detention centres. We believe no child should be held in detention.

Community, volunteer, and advocacy groups, and a variety of other organisations are among the many groups and individuals supporting and contributing to this project and we thank them all.

Supported by:

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SonsPopkes official logo

17 thoughts on “Welcome to Teddy Bears Without Borders

    • Hi Kate, you can post them to PO Box 162 Mansfield Qld 4122 or if you live in Brisbane, the Gold, or Sunshine Coast there are contacts on the right side bar of this page where you can arrange a drop-off/pick-up of your bear/s. Thank you for supporting this project!

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      • I can’t see the contacts – maybe because I am using an iPad? I have finished one and started a second and would like to know where in Brisbane I can drop them off. Many thanks.

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      • Hi Evelyn, yes it seems the contacts pane doesn’t show up on mobile devices. Sorry about that – will fix it. The World Wellness Clinic at Stones Corner (11/416 Logan Road ph 3333 2100) collects teddies for the project. Alternatively, we have volunteers around town who can pick up teddies or rendezvous with you. Feel free to call or text me on 0416 527 270 to arrange. Thanks for your support!

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    • Hi Kerry, there are two simple patterns (one for knitting and one for crochet) on the Make a Teddy page. More will be available there shortly. Thanks for your feedback and support for the project!

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  1. Hi there – I’d love to help. I’ve got about six crochet toys I’ve made recently – they’re not all teddies – some rabbits and one of the Incredible Hulk😉 Is there a restriction on sizes or shapes?

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    • Hi Gargoylebruce, thanks for your message – sounds like you have an eclectic bunch! We’ve decided to accept just teddies for this project however we know of a couple of other organisations who might be interested in your characters (will confirm with them and post their details here, if you’re interested?). Regarding size, we’re saying between 20-35cm long, as a rough guide.

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  2. Hi, I was wondering about making a girl teddy with a skirt. When you say extras need to be knitted in, would it be ok if the skirt was knitted in at the waist but hung over the legs?

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  3. I’d love to knit or crochet teddy bears for refugees. Could someone please start a class for people like me on the Gold Coast who’d love to help but never learned how to knit ur crochet?

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  4. Is it a requirement that the teddies be either knitted or crocheted, or can they be sewn (providing of course that they meet the material safety requirements). I don’t know how to knit or crochet but I can sew and would be happy to make a few!

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  5. Hi.
    I have approx 100 small teddies which are in perfect condition. I would like to donate them to the children in refugee facilities if possible. I live in Brisbane is there any where I can deliver them too?

    Many thanks
    Theresa

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