There’s always a place where a teddy is needed

Hospital grateful for knitting retiree’s teddy bears for little patients
Monday, March 7 2022

“Mrs Theda Swanepoel seems to have an almost telepathic sense for when our teddy stocks are running low, and she appears like a fairy godmother with a new consignment of her beautiful hand knitted teddies, which she donates for us to give to children coming to the emergency department,” says Alan Stroud, unit manager of the emergency department at Netcare Linmed Hospital in Benoni. 

“When I retired in 2015, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I joined a knitting club at the Rynpark Old Age Home, and that’s where I began knitting teddies,” the talented Mrs Swanepoel says. 

Pic: Since 2018 Mrs Theda Swanepoel has generously donated just on 500 of her handmade knitted teddies to the emergency department at Netcare Linmed Hospital to help comfort children coming in for treatment.



“A friend introduced me to Alan in 2018, and I wanted to donate some of my teddies for children who may be hurt or ill and need treatment in the emergency department. Alan saw the first four teddy bears and his reaction was ‘Wow’,” she recalls.

Since then, Mrs Swanepoel has generously donated close on 500 of the nearly 700 teddies she has made to date, to the emergency department at Netcare Linmed Hospital.

“I make approximately 10 a month, and last year donated 120. Alan kindly contributes towards my wool to help cover the costs, and I am so thankful to him for helping to bring cheer to the children by treating them to a teddy,” she says.

“These handmade teddies help to make a visit to the emergency department much less intimidating for children, and we couldn’t be more grateful to Mrs Swanepoel,” Stroud says.

“It is such a joyous and wonderful gesture, Mrs Swanepoel is incredibly kind and thoughtful to make these beautiful teddy bears with such love for our young emergency patients,” adds Linda Bossert, general manager of Netcare Linmed Hospital.

“Each teddy she makes is unique and reflects the time and effort Mrs Swanepoel dedicates to this labour of love and caring. The children really appreciate being given their very own teddy to cuddle while they are at the hospital, which they can take home to cherish afterwards.” 

The talented pensioner is steadily working towards her 1 000th teddy. “It is so rewarding to know that my teddies are bringing comfort to children.  There is always a place where a teddy is needed,” Mrs Swanepoel concludes. 


Notes to editor

Looking for a medical appointment? Netcare appointmed™ will make appointments for YOU with specialists practising at Netcare hospitals, GPs and dentists at Medicross medical and dental centres, and specialists at Akeso mental health facilities. Simply request an appointment online at or phone Netcare appointmed™  on 0860 555 565, Mondays to Fridays between 08:00 and 17:00.
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For more information on this media release, contact MNA at the contact details listed below.

Issued by:            MNA on behalf of Netcare 
Contact:    Martina Nicholson, Meggan Saville, or Estene Lotriet-Vorster 
Telephone:    (011) 469 3016
Email:    [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected]