Bernie the Baptcare Bear Turns One

Thanks to the sponsorship of AE Smith, Bernie the Baptcare Bear will celebrate his 1st birthday today

17 Aug 2013


Baptcare would like to thank our generous sponsor, AE Smith, who was responsible for bringing the Bernie dream to life for Baptcare and our children

Launched to much fanfare with the help of AE Smith at the Moonee Valley Racecourse in 2012, “Bernie the Baptcare Bear” was a new initiative for Baptcare, creating a unique and new way to help promote the need for more foster carers to the sector, whilst at the same time bringing joy and light to hundreds of children in Baptcare’s Out of Home Care programs, including foster and kinship care.

Bernie the Baptcare Bear has certainly lived up to expectations; he has provided children in Foster and Kinship Care programs with Baptcare a cuddle bear that will be theirs to own and keep forever.

Often children who come into foster care or who are placed with kinship carers arrive with the clothes on their back and little else. During this unsettling time children need someone to hold and reassure them that they are safe and will be okay.

Along with the love and care Baptcare’s foster and kinship carers provide, BERNIE THE BAPTCARE BEAR can be a child’s hug in the middle of the night, constant companion and confidant. Bernie can stay with the child regardless of whether they stay in the safe placement or return home. Bernie can also be known as a ‘trauma’ or ‘cuddle’ bear with research showing the positive effects of a cuddle toy for children who have experienced separation and/or trauma.

He has lived an adventurous, generous and extraordinary life so far, travelling right across the globe, including the UK, India, Turkey, Vietnam, New Zealand, Spain, Northern Territory, Tasmania, Queensland, and the Melbourne show. Most importantly, he has delivered in spades, bringing a smile and loving comfort to numerous children in foster and kinship care, and undoubtedly raising the profile of the need for more foster carers across Melbourne’s North West.

“Baptcare is an important aged care customer for AE Smith – not only because we value their business, but because like us they believe in helping people,” says Melbourne Service GM, Peter McCarthy.

“As parents, we all know what a teddy can mean to a child,” Peter said. “It’s great to extend our relationship with a customer beyond a typical business arrangement and help contribute to the amazing work they do in our community.”

AE Smith wishes Bernie the Baptcare Bear a very HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY!