An Olympic gymnast brought smiles to the faces of sick children, when he made a special guest appearance at Teesside’s biggest hospital – and together with Nigel Weightman 2nd Provincial Grand Principal, unveiled a plaque in recognition of Freemasons supporting TLC across the region.
Nile Wilson, who won bronze on the horizontal bars in the 2016 Olympics, was guest of honour at The James Cook University Hospital, to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Teddies for Loving Care (TLC) appeal in Middlesbrough, Scarborough, Hull and York’s A&E departments.
The Appeal, which has been running nationally for more than 16 years since being set up by Essex Freemason Ian Simpson, provides teddies to distressed children attending A&E.
It has seen 32,000 teddies being distributed across the four hospital sites, thanks to generous donations from Freemasons in Yorkshire North and East Ridings.
Ian Williams, TLC Co-Ordinator for the local province, said: “The object of the TLC Charity is to relieve the distress and suffering of patients, particularly children, admitted to A&E.
“Children attending a trauma centre are given a TLC teddy to help soothe them, while nurses and doctors carry out their treatment.
“We are proud that Olympic Bronze Medallist Nile Wilson attended The James Cook University Hospital to unveil a plaque in recognition of Freemasons supporting TLC across the region.”
He added Nile, together with his grandfather John J Wilson, a Past Master of the Zetland Freemasons Lodge in Guisborough, also made a donation of £500 to the TLC appeal.
The most successful junior British gymnast ever, who was also part of the British team who won a silver medal at the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, unveiled the plaque at the Middlesbrough hospital alongside Dr Nigel Weightman, Vice Chair of the Freemasons Charity Yorkshire North and East Ridings.
Dr Weightman said the Freemasons were pleased to continue to support the TLC scheme, which is more than 99% funded by Freemasons nationally and has seen more than one million teddies distributed across the country.
The team also wish to thank Andy Hill, TLC Co-Ordinator for the James Cook University Hospital “for all his hard work”.