My wonderful friend, who never ceases to amaze me how firmly her finger is on the pulse of everything that is happening, pointed me in the direction of an appeal by West Mercia police for knitters.
I always love to give something back to society whenever I have the opportunity and the new initiative launched by the West Mercia Police's Family Protection Units was an absolutely perfect opportunity for me.
The aim of the initiative is to provide children being interviewed in a case of child abuse with a knitted 'trauma teddy' that they can keep with them for comfort during the process of the investigation. Apparently, research has shown that this very simple idea of having a teddy companion is an effective way of helping the young victims to cope.
Recently, I have been reading the bestselling books of Cathy Glass, author and foster carer. They are the true stories of the children she has fostered and paint a harrowing picture of the long term effects of abuse as well as the suffering endured.
Some years ago I began the process of applying to be a foster carer. Then I discovered that I was pregnant and put my plans on hold to concentrate on my new, unexpected but much welcomed baby. Had it not been for my little late in life miraculous daughter, followed by a second miracle in the shape of my son, my life would have been very different. I like to think I could have helped in some small way with any children that would have been placed in my care for whatever reasons.
Knitting trauma teddies for the Family Protection Units is a tiny link to the sort of life I might have had.
I contacted the people in charge to offer my services and hopefully can begin teddy production as soon as I have the pattern. I only hope that my newly acquired knitting skills are up to the task. I will certainly give it my best effort and hopefully my mum will get on board to help out too.
When I was talking on the telephone with the Family Protection Unit, I was mortified that Dylan chose that moment to bang his Bob the Builder work bench loudly and repeatedly with his plastic hammer and Addy started yelling and screaming because she wanted a biscuit and I was not giving her my undivided attention! I had visions of the emergency despatch of trauma bear yielding social workers to see what on earth was going on at this madhouse. Two bourbon biscuits restored calm immediately but not until after I had replaced the telephone in its cradle.
I am really looking forward to a new knitting challenge and if one of my creations can offer even the slightest comfort to a child that needs it, then that makes me very happy indeed.