Perth Children’s Hospital mascot Stitches settles into new home at hospital

Stitches’ new home, PCH. Picture: Stephen Heath Photography
Stitches’ new home, PCH. Picture: Stephen Heath Photography

DESPITE being born in the 1900s, Stitches the bear is only eight and is now moving out of home.

As the Perth Children’s Hospital (PCH) Foundation mascot, Stitches will now call the new hospital home and help comfort children during often scary and lonely moments.

The foundation’s logo has always included Stitches, while the original PCH logo also had a little bear that was flying a kite.

Foundation spokeswoman Janmarie Michie said being a teddy bear, Stitches was very child-like and had a real connection to the children in the hospital while also being very comforting.

“He’s got stitches on his head and leg and he knows what it’s like to be hurt and have to be cared for at the hospital,” she said.

“He personifies what the hospital is all about, which is being reassuring for children, and a lot of children love their teddy bear.

“If you ask Stitches his age, he’ll say he’s eight years old because he only has eight fingers on his paws so he’s perpetually young.”

Stitches with PCH patient Brax Hicks (3) from Merriwa. Picture: Stephen Heath Photography

In his lifetime, Stitches has helped raise millions of dollars to support sick children, with the biggest PCH Foundation fundraiser named in his honour.

The foundation has held about 16 themed Bear by Night balls where teddy bears dressed in themed costumes made by volunteers were sold and auctioned off.

Ms Michie said each year a group of volunteers would sew costumes to match the ball theme for 32 girl and boy versions of Stitches; 30 would be for sold and two given to the foundation.

“Those bears would get snapped up at the balls and people who would come regularly would make a beeline to buy them,” she said.

“One year, someone had bought a Stitches bear at the Downtown Abbey-themed ball and he said if we could resell it, the money would go to the foundation.

“It was auctioned off for $4000.”

The balls have now evolved into Dinner Under The Stars held by membership-based fundraising group Be Giving, the next on June 16, with all proceeds going to the hospital.

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