In each and every one of our Buddy Bags, there has always been a “Buddy,” a beautiful cuddly toy that is the first thing children and parents find when the Buddy Bag is opened when they reach the refuge at a time when everything in life is uncertain. A time when the relief of escaping a horrific situation is mixed with worry for the future but made that little bit easier in receiving a Buddy Bag and all its essentials.
For those of you who have attended one of our bag pack events, you’ll know that each and every bag is packed with love, each component is placed inside with care, knowing the difference it can make. We also like to give that teddy a little cuddle before it goes into the bag, knowing that the next person who holds him close is the person who needs him the most.
For some time, we’ve known that we have wanted to create our very own “Buddy”, a bear that personifies everything we stand for at the Buddy Bag Foundation – love, care and warmth towards the children and parents entering refuges. And finally, we have our very own Buddy and we want to introduce you to him!
Buddy, the brainchild of our founder, Karen Williams and designed by the brilliant Katie Leedham has featured on our website and promotional material and is instantly recognisable to not only everyone involved with the Buddy Bag Foundation but everyone who sees him. Named Buddy to symbolise the comfort and friendship he provides for children in times of crisis, Katie’s beautiful design was turned into reality and makes a real difference to children and provides that warm feeling to those who come to the bag packs and meets him in person!
Buddy has been manufactured in China by Monarch Print. First, the fabric is carefully sourced from suppliers who can dye the fabric almost any colour from the Pantone spectrum! Once the fabric rolls are received by the factory, the bear components are cut to size and Buddy begins to take shape. The details on his face and paws, plus the all important Buddy Bag Foundation label are embroidered and sewn on, then after the stitching it’s time for Buddy to become a real bear and is filled and completed.
Buddy is then packed and brought to the UK where he is sent to bag packs, where you too can meet him and give him a warm “bon voyage” to his new home – a place where he will be loved forever providing companionship to a child who perhaps hasn’t felt that in a long time.
Speaking to our founder Karen Williams, she told me how pleased she was with the creation of Buddy and what a difference he will make –
“I am absolutely thrilled with our Buddy Bear creation. He is cuddly, cute and chid safe. We hope he will be a great “Buddy” and bring comfort to every child that receives him during those difficult and uncertain times, something they can call their very own.”