VIDEO: Shock as teddy fundraising campaign gains international support

(left to right) Project Paddington volunteers, Mags Kelly, Sian Thomas, Joy French and Nicole Brown with their teddies. Dave Higgens/PA Wire

(left to right) Project Paddington volunteers, Mags Kelly, Sian Thomas, Joy French and Nicole Brown with their teddies. Dave Higgens/PA Wire

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A mother is ‘humbled’ after her campaign to get youngsters to donate teddy bears to refugee children went international.

Joy French, who set up Project Paddington after seeing photographs of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi drowned on a Turkish beach, thought her Facebook initiative would be small-scale.

But just a week later, more than 4,000 people have joined the group, dozens of schools have got involved, 30 regional co-ordinators have volunteered to collect the bears and people have pledged support from the US and New Zealand.

Joy, a trainee vicar from Norfolk Park, said: “The way that people have come together around this has just been unbelievable.

“We could never have known how this would have taken off. We’re humbled and shocked. The response has just been incredible.”

The project is also raising money for charity Tearfund, through various fundraising initiatives, including sponsoring a bear and taking a bear selfie. The money will be distributed in Europe and the Middle East.

Joy French with a teddy named Humphrey. Dave Higgens/PA Wire

Joy French with a teddy named Humphrey. Dave Higgens/PA Wire

n For more details visit www.projectpaddington.com