Fenland police officer praises Cambs Police’s comfort toys scheme six months after its launch
A COMFORT toys scheme aimed at reducing the stress suffered by children after road collisions has been praised by a Fenland police officer.
Pc Stuart Cox, from the roads policing unit based at March, used the scheme shortly after it was launched in June to comfort a girl who was shaken after a crash.
“I think this is a great scheme and shows the caring side of what we do,” he said. “It gives the child something else to focus on rather than the situation itself.”
Pc Cox attended a two-vehicle collision on the A14 between a lorry and a car, which contained a mum and two daughters aged 15 and 10.
The car was shunted off the road by the lorry and the 10-year-old suffered minor facial cuts from flying glass.
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Pc Cox said: “I went to the back of the ambulance to see her with a cuddly toy poking out of the top of my jacket. I told the girl that my ‘friend’ was new to the job and needed looking after because he was a bit frightened.
“I also told her that he was so new he didn’t even have a name yet. The girl agreed to ‘look after him’ and named him Bluey after the blue lights on my car.”
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All traffic and firearms vehicles have carried the soft toys since June after the scheme was set up by enquiry officer Jackie Gadd. Toys were donated by Mothercare of Huntingdon.
Since then, 12 toys have been handed to children, mostly at scenes of road collisions, and Mrs Gadd has received glowing feedback from colleagues and parents.
Mrs Gadd, who set up the scheme after hearing about its successful use by Wiltshire Police, was involved in a collision with her own children several years ago.
She said: “Some of the stories have been very touching.
“Unfortunately, children will always be involved in traumatic incidents from time to time but I’m convinced that having a teddy to cuddle while the incident is being dealt with reduces their stress significantly.”