Bear with...the trauma teddy knitting pattern is here!

We’ve been delighted with the response to our trauma teddies appeal, with lots of keen knitters looking for the pattern.

Trauma teddy bears with police hat

Picture credit: The Evening Telegraph

This appeal is a partnership project between Children 1st and Police Scotland, where knitted teddies will be provided by police officers to comfort children affected by traumatic events. Trauma teddies will be given as a simple distraction to help take a child's focus away from potentially upsetting circumstances and help police officers build a relationship and turn the experience into something positive. 

The scheme began in Dundee and is now spreading rapidly throughout Scotland.

Linda Jardine, our Director of Children and Families Services, said: "These teddies will be used to provide support to children in a difficult situation where the police are involved. It’s also hoped the teddy bears will play a part in aiding the recovery of any child who is involved in a distressing situation.

"As well as providing comfort to children, parents will receive information about how they can access support through our local services and through ParentLine, our national digital family support service."

All the instructions are below. Finished teddies can be handed in to any Children 1st office or participating police station, or alternatively you can post them to Children 1st, 83 Whitehouse Loan, Edinburgh, EH9 1AT. Also, if you are going to the Edinburgh Festival between 3rd and 27th August, you can hand teddies in to the Police Scotland command vehicle by the Scott Monument in Princes Street Gardens.

Once teddies have been received they will be dressed in a Children 1st t shirt and distributed to police vehicles across Scotland. The back of the t shirt features the number for Parentline, as a way to remind families that a kind and skilled listening ear is available seven days a week through our free helpline and webchat service.

If you are making or have completed a teddy please let us know through Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #TraumaTeddies.

Happy knitting!

Trauma teddyDesign guidelines

These simple guidelines explain the design requirements for hand-made trauma teddies.

Your interest in supporting this project is greatly appreciated. In order to comply with recommendations provided by Police Scotland Legal Department and to ensure good Health and Safety practice, we request that all donations of teddies adhere to the following guidance: 

  1. Donations must meet the pattern specifications provided.
  2. Teddies must not include buttons, zips or anything else which could be accidentally or forcibly removed.
  3. Seams must be securely fastened. Should access be gained to any fibrous filling material within the teddy through a seam, this may present a choking risk if swallowed. Seams should be tension-tested to ensure they are as secure as possible.
  4. Prior to their distribution, pre-prepared labels will be attached to each donated teddy, advising of the need to take care of the item, given that this has been hand-made. Labels will be provided to Police Scotland by Children 1st and attached with string to the teddy.

Trauma teddy knitting pattern


Double knitting wool 1 pair size 11 knitting needles, head and paws (preferably fawn), scarf (should be bright).

Stuffing – please only stuff teddy with polyester or other healthy padding. Foam rubber is NOT recommended.

Cast on 10 stitches main colour. Knit 10 rows.

Continue in garter stitch for 30 rows in trouser colour. Make another leg in the same way.

Knit across all 20 stitches and work 16 rows. Change to jumper colour and knit 24 rows.

Change to main colour for head and also change to stocking 5 ½ inches.

Change to jumper colour and knit 24 rows.

Continue remainder of Teddy in reverse order.

Stitch down the sides of the head. With jumper colour, pick up 8 stitches either side of the neck join (16 in all) and knit 20 rows.

Change to main colour and knit 10 rows for paws.

Sew up Teddy leaving opening in crotch. 

Turn right side out and sew diagonal top corners for ears before stuffing.

After stuffing, run a thread through the knitting around the neck to draw it in. 

Sew a happy face and for mouth use either stem stitch or back stitch. 

Scarf : Cast on 75 stitches. Knit 4 rows and cast off. Tie scarf on Teddy the back of the neck, close to the jumper edge. Don’t sew down at the front.


The pattern above is simple for those who knit and can make good use of small pieces of wool left over from major projects carried out during the year.

Well done and thank you. You have just brought a smile to a child’s face!