Southampton used a specially created story book about ‘Little Bear’ to prepare younger children in care for contact sessions with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) following the Covid-19 outbreak.


As contact arrangements were restarting following Covid-19 lockdown, personal protective equipment (PPE) was used to protect from infection in Contact Centres. Some younger children were afraid of PPE and Southampton wanted a tool to discuss PPE with children to familiarise them with it and reduce fear.

What did they do?

To support younger children’s who were scared of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Head of Service, Julian Watkins, worked with professional illustrator Michelle Ribello-Tindall to create a beautifully illustrated short story booklet about “Little Bear”. The booklet explains why adults may wear PPE during family time to keep Little Bear safe.

Southampton also had a donation of a knitted bears wearing PPE from Bournemouth’s Townswomen’s guild to go with the story.

The booklets are now being shared with carers who are keen to use these with their foster children to reduce anxieties around PPE, to make family time as positive as possible.

What’s next?

Head of Service Julian Watkins is working with the illustrator Michelle Ribello-Tindall to create a series of other booklets to help explain to young children (aged 4-7) why they are in care.


The booklets have helped carers prepare children for family time with Personal Protective Equipment and reduced children’s anxiety.