September 30th, 2016

Finn’s bear record attempt stepped up as stars get on board

Updated: 11:05 am, May 07, 2015

A RALLYING call has been made for more teddy bears to help a brave Alvechurch boy break a World Record and raise more cash for two charities.

Operation Teddy Bear was officially launched by the Church family last month and the record attempt – to amass the World’s biggest ever row of teddy bears – will take place at the Alvechurch Party in the Park on May 3.

There is now bear-ly four weeks to go until the big day and if Finlay Church is going to hold the cuddly toy crown, he will need more than 4,014 bears.

Fin was diagnosed with a Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) – the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumour which is rare in children – in June last year. After major surgery at BCH to remove the tumour he he underwent a series of radiotherapy, chemotherapy and clinic trials to stop it returning.

His family’s fund-raising has seen £19,000 collected for Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BHF) and Brain Tumour Research and this latest challenge will boost the coffers further.

Since the launch, more drop-off points have been set up for people to donate their teddies which, because of the rules of the record, must be bears and not other stuffed animals, such as monkeys or dogs.

It will also not be possible to return the bears afterwards, but they will be guaranteed to go to good homes.

Drop-off points include the Morrisons supermarkets in Rubery, Bromsgrove, Redditch, Kidderminster and Solihull, Kings Norton Rugby Club in Hopwood, Barnt Green Baptist Church, Alvechurch Library, the middle school, Crown Meadow First School, Cafe Moreso and Bear Headquarters – 85 Birmingham Road, Alvechurch.

Finlay’s mum Penny told The Standard it was time to step up the appeal.

“There are literally bears, bears, everywhere, but we still need more and there is now just four weeks to go so we want anyone who can help donate a teddy to drop them off at one of the points.”

As well as people dropping off teddy bears, celebrities have also been posting their pictures of themselves with the cuddly toys to show their support for Operation Teddy Bear.

Penny said the reaction had been un-bear-lievable.

“Someone took up some bears to a Manchester United match and got pictures of England manager Roy Hodgson, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Bobby Charlton, which was amazing.

“And then someone else knew Olly Murs’ hairdresser so got him to pose – it has really taken off.”

Others have included Dame Kelly Holmes, Angela Griffin, Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett, former Blues boss Steve Bruce, Rachel Riley and Eamon Holmes.

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/teams/finlaysjourney or text btmr99 and the amount for Brain Tumour Research or bchh99 followed by the amount for the Children’s Hospital to 70070. Details are available at the www.operationteddybear.co.uk website. For more e-mail contact@operationteddybear.co.uk or by calling 0121 445 1926. The campaign has been extended to Twitter – to join the conversation, use the #opteddybear hashtag.

Birmingham City boss Gary Rowett, Angela Griffin, Olly Murs, Sir Alex Ferguson and England boss Roy Hodgson with their bears. (s)

England manager Roy Hodgson. s

Angela Griffin. s

Sir Alex Ferguson. s

Sir Bobby Charlton. s

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