Shropshire Star

Britain's oldest teddy bear factory in Ironbridge on way to smashing fundraising goal for NHS

Britain’s oldest remaining teddy bear manufacturer is more than half way to its goal of raising over £10,000 to support the NHS.

Blue Ribbon Bears - Oxford and London Curly Gold

Merrythought, based in the world heritage site of Ironbridge, launched the NHS blue ribbon campaign last month, which aims to support the coronavirus fighting fund with the help of a special souvenir bear and his companions.

The campaign is being run exclusively online from the company’s website at

Bevan the Bear, originally created to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the NHS and named after the organisation’s founder, Aneurin Bevan, made a comeback and was joined by a selection of Merrythought’s traditional, British-made teddy bears who all wear a blue ribbon.

Proceeds from the sale of each bear is helping to raise funds for the NHS Charities Covid-19 appeal and the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust, which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital.

Sarah Holmes, fourth-generation managing director of Merrythought, said they were looking to raise over £10,000 during the campaign.

“I am delighted to say that we have already raised more than £5,500 towards our target and we are confident we can reach £10,000 with the blue ribbon campaign,” she added.

“People have really taken our adorable Bevan bear and this campaign to their hearts, and we are grateful to all those customers across the UK and world who have supported our efforts to help the NHS at such a difficult time.”

Merrythought, which marks its 90th anniversary this year, is famous for crafting the finest, British-made teddy bears, which are adored by children and adults across the world.

Bevan is on sale for £89, and is available alongside the rest of the blue ribbon collection at

A minimum of 20 per cent from all online sales is being donated to the charities in the blue ribbon campaign.

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