Teddy bears a beacon of hope


Teddy bears and stuffed animals are uniting families across the Hunter.

A new social media group is calling on the region to put stuffed toys in their window or yard to create a social distancing teddy bear hunt.  

Teddy Bear Hunt NSW Creator Steven Sewell said he was inspired by a post in another group.

“I own another group, and someone posted a photo of a teddy bear in their window and it gave me the idea,” he said.

“I saw it and thought: ‘That’s a great idea, I am going to share it.’

“I asked a few people to send me some photos and get involved and I created the group.

“It’s basically just to give kids something fun to do.”

Under coronavirus restrictions, families are still allowed to exercise outdoors.

The group promotes going out and being active while walking through your neighbourhood and practicing social distancing.

“The teddies symbolise hope and friendship,” Mr Sewell says.

“We are in it together and we’re going to get through this together.

“[I think] it gives people relief that there is something else going on that they can relate to.

“People understand that it’s all quite serious, but this shows them that there are still some good things in the world.”

The group already has more than 4,500 members where people post photos of their bears or what they discover.

It has also created a map that shows all the streets and suburbs people can find stuffed animals and participate in the bear hunt.

Mr Sewell hopes the group will continue after the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

At the moment, the group’s focus is to connect communities across the Hunter while being safe and sensible during the pandemic.

However, Mr Sewell says he has some ideas for the future, including a potential Teddy Bear’s picnic in the area.

He invites anyone to become a part of the group.

 “If people want to join all they have to do is type in Teddy Bear Hunt NSW on Facebook and request an invite,” Mr Sewell says.