John Bear, Wirral Hospice’s mascot reveals all… #familiesmatter #hairy

Published on: 09/07/2014

wirral_hospice_john_bear_dancingHi I’m John Bear! As Wirral Hospice St John’s friendliest (and hairiest) member of the team, I get to do lots of fun stuff!

The whole point of the Hospice is to look after people who need special caring. Although I can’t do that – for a start my paws are too big and none of the uniforms fit me – I can help raise a smile and also cheer on and encourage the kind people who do their very best to raise funds to keep the Hospice going.

I also visit schools as part of the Hospice’s schools’ project, which is specially designed to help children cope with their emotions when someone near to them is incurably ill. The special team at the Hospice can also provide training for teachers to help children when someone close to them dies.

I love going to the schools and meeting all the children. I hear lots of funny stories and sad ones too, which is exactly why I’m there – to help children talk about their feelings and encourage them to share their experiences with friends. My role is to teach children that it’s ok to laugh when remembering a loved one and that’s ok to cry and be sad sometimes too. I help them know where to turn when they want to talk to someone or need a hug.

There has been a lot of sport going on lately. I like to keep active, even though I get really hot and sweaty in the sunshine. Anyway, I was getting really into the World Cup football fever, well I was up until England lost their chance of winning.

In between visiting schools, I try to get to as many places as possible to spread the word of the Hospice: fairs, bucket collections, days out, starting races, visiting the Hospice charity shops…

The only place I won’t be allowed to go to is the fancy Masquerade Ball that’s on Fri 5 Sep but that’s only because it will be past my bedtime!

If you can think of other things you’d like to see me at, please get in touch with my human, Hayley Gough, the Hospice’s Events Manager. She is kind enough to drive me around (steering, well, how do you do it with these paws? And as for pedals when you’ve got feet like mine). Hayley can be contacted on 0151 343 0778 or at She is very friendly but not as friendly (or hairy!) as me!

Families Matter Appeal information

Fundraising events

Author: Liz Rice, Hospice volunteer