Hundreds of knitted and crocheted bears, handmade by volunteers, have started their journey to Ukraine.
They will be given to children fleeing the war, in the town of Zahony on the Hungarian-Ukraine border.
Knitted by members of a community group in North Shields, the blue and yellow bears have been designed to offer “love, strength and comfort”.
Volunteer knitter Ann Wright said she got involved after seeing families leaving home with only a few things.
“As soon as they leave us, these little bears will start working their magic and do what they need to do.
“When we see pictures of children receiving them, with all our love, strength and comfort inside them – it just gives us a great amount of joy,” Mrs Wright said.
The 67-year-old from North Shields started a group called Hero Bears for Refugee Children after seeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine last February.
The group has so far has knitted almost 2,000 items, including toy animals, blankets, clothing and socks for wounded soldiers.
The bears will be taken by train from Newcastle Central Station to Bristol where they will be met by David Fricker who founded TeddyBusz, an organisation which will transport the teddies and toys from the UK to the Ukraine border by bus in time for Easter.
Mr Fricker said: “When the war broke out, we were keen to play our part and help in some way. We started out by collecting teddy bears and toys in the Bristol and North Somerset area and received a huge amount of local support.
“We’ve taken donations from further afield in the UK and around the world and are delighted to support this group in the North East.”
Source : BBC