Kind-hearted pupils at Monifieth High School have picked up their knitting needles to support an innovative project to help vulnerable members of the community.
They joined members of the Monifieth Parish Church and a local knitting group who spent the morning knitting ‘trauma teddies’ to be handed out by Police Scotland officers dealing with incidents involving children.
More than 40 pupils supported the project, instigated by Constable Andrew Kerr of Longhaugh Police Station, and supported by Children 1st.
Every Police vehicle in Dundee now carries a small knitted teddy and, in only eight weeks, the local police office now has around 400 of the soft toys.
Mr Kerr said: “The teddies are a way of making something positive out of a trauma experience.
“This can be anything from a domestic incident, a child being knocked down in a street or becoming lost. It is a way for the police to interact with the families, it breaks down barriers.
“The teddies give the public a chance to see the good side of the police.”
Although the teddies have not yet been called into action, Mr Kerr explained they would make a good way of interacting with a child.
He said: “Sometimes we are called to situations and our uniforms can be quite off-putting for children.
“These teddies will help us at early intervention. Sometimes we’re seen as the bad guys but the teddies help us to break down any barrier.
“A teddy is a universal symbol of love and friendship and I am becoming more and more aware of what a teddy means to people.”
He praised the support given by Monifieth High school staff and pupils and the wider community.
“It has been utterly amazing. I can’t believe the number of people who have given up their time and money to provide for the young children in this area.”
M-C McInally, head teacher at Monifieth High School, explained the project sat well with the school’s ethos of being the ‘HEART’ of Monifieth.
She said: “HEART is for healthy, engaging, achieving, relating and thriving.
“The trauma teddies have brought in members of the community to the school and community is the main theme of the school.”
The morning session at Monifieth High featured three generations of knitters and was organised by the school’s resource worker Claire Morrison and depute head teacher Craig Lusby.
Claire said: “The teddies are a really simple, clever and effective way of dealing with trauma.
“We will finish the teddies in the last week of term and hand them in to the police station where they will be given a T-shirt with the contact numbers for Children 1st.”