Teddy bears on a mission to help veterans' charity

A charity which provides essential support to veterans has recruited two very special members to its ranks.

Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:00 am
Updated Tuesday, 14th September 2021, 10:03 am
One of the bears out and about in the community raising money for the Veterans' charity

A pair of teddy bears named Rag and Oil have been sent on a year-long mission dressed in military garb to help raise money for The Veterans’ Charity.

One is presently with Special Forces in Australia and the other is touring the UK with members of the charity.

Within four months, £1,600 has been raised of the £3,000 target.

The initiative was set up by Jim Castlehouse of Featherstone, a veteran of 11 years, who served with the Royal Army Ordnance Corps (RAOC) - hence the name of the bears. The RAOC’s nickname was the Rag and Oil Company.

Mr Castlehouse, 58, who achieved the rank of corporal,set up the RAOC Veteran Group in 2016. It now has 3,900 members.

He said: “ It is all in aid of helping the veterans in their times of need.

“We provide essential items like food shopping, clothing, utilities support, smartphones to aid communication and household items within a very short space of time.”

“We just thought something like this would bring a smile to people’s faces and give them the incentive to donate further.”

At the end of the bears’ year-long travels they will be donated to a children’s hospice or charity of the group’s choosing and there are plans to publish a book about their adventures.