Police show kids they care

THUMBS UP: From left, Whyalla Mount Laura Lions member Brian Marshall, SAPOL Operations Inspector Mark Hubbard and Lions President Stephen Pearce with the newly-minted care bears.
THUMBS UP: From left, Whyalla Mount Laura Lions member Brian Marshall, SAPOL Operations Inspector Mark Hubbard and Lions President Stephen Pearce with the newly-minted care bears.

Whyalla Mount Laura Lions Club have given the gift of caring to Whyalla Police, donating 100 care bears to the local police station.

The bears will be used to help police officers comfort children who have experienced traumatic events such as a car accident or domestic violence.

They were made by Lions International for local clubs to distribute around Australia as part of a long-time initiative, and this year the Whyalla Mount Laura Lions Club decided to get on board.

"We all have children, we all have grandkids, when they're put through trauma it can be very stressful for them so we thought this was a great idea," said Club President Stephen Pearce.

Fellow Member Brian Marshall said the bears helped show children that police were 'there to help' in a stressful situation.

"We believe it will help calm the child down, it's going to be a very worthwhile initiative," he said.

SAPOL Operations Inspector Mark Hubbard said giving police officers the ability to 'lessen the blow' when interacting with children for the first time could change their view on police forever.

"It could be the most painful moment of their life so something as simple as giving them a teddy bear could be a game changer," he said.

"I thank the Lions Club and other service clubs like Rotary for the work they do in giving back to the community, the goodwill and generosity of the Whyalla community is fantastic."

If you would like to get on board with the Whyalla Mount Laura Lions Club to support further projects like this one, the club is in need of more volunteers.

"We really need more members, we're a club that's very high up in the age group and we need some younger members to carry it through," Mr Pearce said.

Whyalla Mount Laura Lions plan to continue the initiative next year.