Kettering's Wicksteed Park says thank you by awarding bear hug badges

The badges will be awarded to people nominated for things they have done to help the park and its visitors

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 11:27 am
The first winners of the new badge from Wicky Bear

Wicksteed Park is saying thank you to the local community by giving away exclusive Bear Hug badges from park mascot Wicky Bear.

The initiative was launched with a special badge presentation to four people who were at the centre of fundraising to help the park through the Covid-19 crisis.

The badges, featuring a smiling picture of Wicky Bear, will now be presented regularly to people nominated for things they have done to help the park and its visitors.

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The new badge awarded by Wicky Bear

The first four badges were presented to the following people, who are all from Kettering:

- Damian Cox, who spearheaded the public’s fundraising in aid of the Wicksteed Charitable Trust

- Lucy Elliott, who set up her own Just Giving page, which raised more than £4,000 for the park. Her badge was received on her behalf by daughter Annabelle, 11, who designed posters to help with the fundraising

- Evie Steptoe, who is now aged 11, dressed as a train and walked around the park with her mum, raising more than £800 when she was 10

- Ben Darling of Network Rail, who co-ordinated volunteers from Network Rail to repair and prepare the park train track

Rachel James, Wicksteed Park’s head of sales and marketing, said: “Throughout the last year there have been so many people who have done great things to help and who deserve a great big hug from Wicky Bear and the rest of us.

“Due to Covid restrictions that has not been possible so we are going to give them a badge with a hug on it to keep forever as a small gesture of our thanks.

“The badges will now be presented to people who are nominated for helping the park with fundraising for the Wicksteed Charitable Trust or just doing something positive, whether that be helping a child who is lost or anything that people think is worth recognising in this way.

“We already have a scheme to recognise the contribution of our amazing volunteers who do so much to help the park every week, so we wanted to do something to mark the contributions and achievements of other people too.

“There are only a limited number of badges, so only the truly special acts of kindness will be rewarded, and we want wearing one to be something of great pride that people in the community will recognise.”

Nominations for Bear Hug badges can be made by emailing [email protected] with Bear Hug Nomination in the subject line.

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