Ellie Somme founded The Teddy Trust after life changing meeting with Judy Westwater. Here is Ellie’s story…
Judy Westwater, our President, suffered the most appalling abuse as a child at the hands of her father and step mother. As a small child she was taken by her father to South Africa where she was abandoned and left to live on the streets. But Judy survived and went back to South Africa as an adult where she started the Pegasus Children's Trust working with volunteers to open homes across the country to care for street kids. You can read about Judy's story in her books – ‘Street Kid’ and ‘Nowhere to Run’.
Says Ellie “I first met Judy in 2012 when she brought photos of some of the children in her care. One small child caught my eye as she looked so withdrawn and sat apart from the other children. She was called Honour. She was about six years old but, at that time, she couldn't talk or communicate because of the appalling sexual abuse she had suffered. So, through Judy, I sent Honour a teddy bear. But I couldn't just send one teddy to one child. Judy's organisation cares for thousands of children! So I began sending hundreds of teddies, donated by local children, every six months and shipped for free by a South African shipping company. The teddies are delivered to townships across the country by Rotary International and are having a profound healing effect on the children who have all suffered the most appalling abuse”.
From this first step, Ellie is now looking for and finding new partners to help her spread “the healing power of teddy” If you would like more information please email us.