Children diagnosed with epilepsy are more likely to develop depression or anxiety and suffer from low self-esteem and social isolation. That’s what led Epilepsy Action Australia to create their Ted-E-Bear Connection program, to provide support and resources to children with epilepsy and their families.
Thanks to a recent ClubGRANT of $10,917 from Ingleburn RSL Club, Epilepsy Action Australia can now bring the popular program to families in Ingleburn.
Comfort and confidence
Each Ted-E-Bear that Epilepsy Action Australia sends to a child comes with a unique name and a personalised adoption certificate. The children also receive a letter that explains the origins of the bears and an activity book.
But this program is about more than a cuddly bear. Along with the Ted-E-Bear, the child’s family receives an information pack containing helpful resources. They’re also enrolled in online education about seizure safety and first-aid, and receive ongoing one-on-one email and phone support from specialist epilepsy nurses. A Facebook page offers valuable peer support, allowing parents to connect with other families experiencing the same challenges.
For parents, the program increases their understanding and confidence in managing their child’s epilepsy and helps to reduce their fears. For children, families say the teddy is a comfort and a friend when struggling with sadness, seizures, hospital stays, medical tests or the loneliness of feeling different.
Bringing Ted-E-Bear to Ingleburn
There’s currently no dedicated, locally-based services in Ingleburn to support children with epilepsy. That’s about to change with Epilepsy Action Australia bringing the program to 60 local children, funded by their recent ClubGRANT.
“Clubs in NSW play a vital role in supporting local initiatives and we are incredibly grateful to Ingleburn RSL for their support,” says Kate Whitney, Philanthropy and Partnership Manager at Epilepsy Action Australia. “It’s difficult to source funding for a program that is suburb/LGA based. Clubs are the heart of the community so it makes sense that they support the children and families in their area.”
“In Ingleburn, there’s 390 children under 10 with epilepsy,” adds Glenn Cushion, Ingleburn RSL Club CEO. “It’s incredible to see this ClubGRANT working so hard to support 60 of these children and their families. The program gives them access to essential services and information and gives these kids an important boost to their confidence, wellbeing and resilience.”
You can learn more about Epilepsy Action Australia’s Ted-E-Bear Connection program on their website.