Neela creates elaborate teddy bear displays to boost morale in community

PUBLISHED: 16:44 06 May 2020

Neela with a teddy bear collection.            Picture: Anusha Edwards

Neela with a teddy bear collection. Picture: Anusha Edwards

Anusha Edwards

A 12-year-old girl has brought joy to her community by creating teddy bear displays outside of her house along the Long Ashton to Nailsea cycle path.

Reading the paper on the lawn.            Picture: Anusha EdwardsReading the paper on the lawn. Picture: Anusha Edwards

Schoolgirl Neela Buckle has put a plethora of toys on her front lawn every dry day since lockdown began, and has since inspired people to take part in the initiative in her neighbourhood.

Neela has created themes where teddy bears go canoeing across a lake, abseil down walls as well as feature in a colourful unicorn display.

The student, from Downs Preparatory School, in Wraxall, wanted to put her own spin on the mass teddy bear hunt underway around the world, where families put the toy displays in their windows.

The initiative has been inspired by children’ss book We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, written by Michael Rosen, which has been helping to distract millions of children in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

John and Rosemary’s heart-warming letter.         Picture: Anusha EdwardsJohn and Rosemary’s heart-warming letter. Picture: Anusha Edwards

Neela’s mother, Anusha Edwards, said: “We started this a week before the Easter holidays, and after seeing the bear hunt on the news, my daughter wanted to put a creative spin on it. She’s got more than 60 teddies in her collection and people young and old have stopped to admire her creations, and she’s even inspired our neighbours to join in.”

Since the initiative began, positive messages have flooded in, and Neela’s neighbours sent a text to Anusha to say their child with special needs ‘loves it’ when he goes on his daily exercise with carers and sees the teddies.

Anusha added: “Neela has done this every dry day since the start of lockdown and we’ll keep creating the displays until we run out of ideas.

“It’s a strange time for people, and anything to put a smile on their faces is a bonus. It’s about turning something negative into something positive.”

Teddy bears on a canoe.             Picture: Anusha EdwardsTeddy bears on a canoe. Picture: Anusha Edwards

Neela said she loves putting the displays together and has plenty of ideas to keep her going.

She said: “We saw people putting up teddy displays in their windows in Australia on TV, and the next day, we decided to do the same thing.

“I put a display together in my bedroom to start with, but it didn’t work as you couldn’t really see the teddies, so that’s why decided to take the bears outside.”

Neela’s parents are key workers so she designs the creations in the mornings with the help of her mum and dad before school.

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