A teddy bear from Totley has raised over £1000 for NHS workers by dressing up in his front garden.
Hayley and Michael Stones started dressing up the bear with their sons Alfie, 8, and Harry, 6, to cheer up their neighbourhood on Green Oak Avenue, but started a fundraiser after growing interest online.
The bear changed his outfit daily and has worn 19 different costumes so far, including that of Spider Man, Darth Vader, and 100-year-old war veteran Captain Tom Moore.
In an interview with JUS News, Ms Stones said the main aim of the display was to put a smile on the community’s face at a time when some people were struggling during the lockdown.
She said: “The reception Alfie’s been getting has been really lovely.
“The flats that face our garden are owned by elderly residents and they have told me they love looking out the window every single morning and seeing something fun to cheer them up.
“The children are also really enjoying seeing people passing by and sometimes speak to them at the door. Alfie loves to tell people it was all his idea!”
Alfie Bear was won two years ago in a Name-the-Bear competition at the Devonshire Arms to raise money for the Cavendish Cancer Trust.
The family started the display by using the children’s fancy dress costumes, but since then, the community has got involved in the project by donating props and outfits for Alfie’s garden show.
Ms Stones said she had set a target of £200 for the fundraiser, but was amazed when the amount was raised on the very first day.
Since starting the fundraiser two weeks ago, the family has raised £1100 for NHS Charities Together.
Ms Stones said: “Admiration for our NHS is really huge right now and we can see how much they are being stretched by the virus.
“I think it’s important that we raise money where we can and highlight what NHS workers are doing for us at this time.”
To donate to Alfie’s fundraising page, go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/h-stones