September 26th, 2016

Operation Teddy Bear launched to help Fin break record

Updated: 11:04 am, May 07, 2015

A BRAVE Alvechurch boy is hoping to break the Guinness World Record for having the most teddy bears in a row.

And Finlay Church, who featured on The Standard’s front page last month for collecting £19,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital (BHF) and Brain Tumour Research, will use the cuddly toy challenge to raise even more cash for the causes.

Finlay hit the headlines in February as his donation helped complete the £4million fund-raising campaign to build a new cancer unit at the hospital.

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.

The Church family is urging residents to help Fin with the attempt, at the annual Alvechurch ‘Party in the Park’ on May 3 at the village’s cricket club. Fin will need a row of more than 4,014 teddy bears to break the record.

Operation Teddy Bear was officially launched in Alvechurch last Friday (March 20) and it is hoped residents will donate plenty of teddies – they must be bears, not monkeys or dogs.And, because of the volume, it will not be possible to return the bears afterwards.

Finlay’s mum Penny told The Standard: “Fin has always loved the Guinness World Record book and seeing the things people do.

“His friend knew about this and it was his mum who found the record about the teddy bears and suggested Fin try to break it.

“It happened when he was really poorly and the idea has got him through some very difficult times.

“I think people think we are a little bit mad, but everyone has been great – we have had teddies on the doorstep, teddies at the school, teddies everywhere.”

Drop off points include Alvechurch Library, the middle school, Crown Meadow First School, Cafe Moreso, Your Move in Rubery and Bear Headquarters – 85 Birmingham Road, Alvechurch.

To donate visit or text btmr99 and the amount for Brain Tumour Research or bchh99 followed by the amount for the Children’s Hospital. Details are available at the website. Fore more e-mail or by calling 0121 445 1926. The campaign has been extended to Twitter – to join the conversation, use the #opteddybear hashtag.