Florence's fun-filled 50th finale with her furry friend
You may remember that back in April, we shared the story of Florence and her teddy bear Hyde, who were fundraising for St Oswald’s while brightening the days of their local community.
After entertaining their neighbours and people passing through Great Park, Newcastle over the last 50 days with activities such as window cleaning, pizza delivery and lifeguarding, 4ft teddy bear Hyde decided to go out with a bang on his 50th day, Monday 8th June. Their finale saw Hyde host a socially distanced Teddy Bear’s Picnic for his neighbours. Everyone turned out to see Hyde off in style, with some people even writing him poems and bringing fan mail.
Hyde’s challenges were the brainchild of six year old Florence Tawn, who, with a little help from her family, managed to come up with a brand new scene every day, much to the delight of her neighbours.
Florence hit upon the un-BEAR-lievably good idea of Hyde’s daily challenges as a creative way to help St Oswald’s recoup some of the funds lost through closed charity shops and cancelled fundraising events as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Florence’s Mum, Lucy, explains:
The response to Hyde’s adventures has been amazing, he’s become quite the attraction in our neighbourhood. People have been so generous and kind and seem to have loved all of the hard work Flo put into setting up his scenes. Hyde has had his own fan mail, people have rung the doorbell to speak with us about him and he’s really made a lot of children and grown-ups laugh!
But all good things must come to an end and this has been the longest bear hunt in history so we decided to stop on day 50. To be honest, Flo would go on forever, but we’re running out of stuff we can use in the house – and her brother Max really wants his bear back!
Although the idea of Hyde’s adventures was Florence’s, it was a very special little girl called Katerina who inspired her.
This challenge also has a very special meaning to our family, as it was in loving memory of my niece and Florence’s nine year old cousin who sadly died due to complications from leukaemia. Katerina shared Florence’s creativity and love of teddy bears so this was the perfect way to support a local charity to honour her memory.
I like seeing people smiling and laughing at Hyde. He makes them happy, that’s why I kept sharing him every day! I love fundraising for the hospice because I know it’s good and kind to help people.
Thanks to the generous support of her community. Florence and Hyde have raised a massive £1000 for St Oswald’s.
St Oswald’s Hospice fundraising manager, Danielle Harvey said:
It’s been a difficult few months as we have had to cancel many of our planned fundraising events which really impacts the money we can raise to support out patients and families. Our local community have really rallied for us and we’ve been humbled by the support shown by fantastic people like Florence and her neighbours. At a time when people have so much to cope with, it means so much that people are thinking of us.
Well done Florence and Hyde, from all of your friends at St Oswald’s. We think you are BEAR…rilliant!
If you would like to supports Oswald’s Coronavirus Response Appeal, please visit www.stoswaldsuk.org/covid19-appeal