Capalaba police deliver teddies to sick kids

Capalaba Police Beat's administration officer Pauline Dunn, Senior Constable Nicole Jackson, Constable Vrinda McCauley and Senior Constable Clara Rizzo. Photo: Hannah Baker
Capalaba Police Beat's administration officer Pauline Dunn, Senior Constable Nicole Jackson, Constable Vrinda McCauley and Senior Constable Clara Rizzo. Photo: Hannah Baker

CAPALABA police have beaten Santa in bringing Christmas joy to sick kids at Redland Hospital with gifts of teddies, colouring books and stationery.

While they might not have come down the chimney like Saint Nicholas, their visit this morning still brought smiles to young patients’ faces.

Constable Vrinda McCauley, who navigated her team of four police elves throughout the hospital’s wards, said the fun was all part of the Cops Care teddie program.

Redland Hospital patient Jack Tognola, 4, and Senior Constable Nicole Jackson compare note pads. Photo: Hannah Baker

Redland Hospital patient Jack Tognola, 4, and Senior Constable Nicole Jackson compare note pads. Photo: Hannah Baker

The program, launched today, was developed by Constable McCauley to help vulnerable kids feel safer.

While sick kids were the program’s first beneficiaries, Constable McCauley said she hoped the knitted bears would soon be used by police across the state to help calm children caught up in dire situations.

She said the toys could be packed into the boots of police cars and given to small children whose parents were under arrest or involved in a traffic crash.

The idea was inspired by the Australian Red Cross’ Trauma Teddies initiative, in which knitted plush toys are given to kids during emergencies.

“The goal is for this to become Queensland wide,” she said.

Senior Constable Clara Rizzo stands near a premature baby boy, who has not yet been named. Photo: Hannah Baker

Senior Constable Clara Rizzo stands near a premature baby boy, who has not yet been named. Photo: Hannah Baker

Consultant paediatrician Dr Shivanand Hebbandi said the visit by Capalaba police helped young patients feel more comfortable during their stay.

“We don’t like children in the hospital as the place for children is at home or in the playground,” he said.

“It is really great for services like QPS visit.”