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Happy ending to tale of lost teddy

Published on Tuesday 10 October, 2017

Teddy Bear Rescue

Two City of Gosnells Parks and Operations team members have taken community service to the next level, after searching for and retrieving a two-year-old boy’s treasured teddy bear.

The boy’s mother Lorraine Wellington wrote to the City to acknowledge what she described as the “exceptional customer service” of irrigation tradesperson Peter Grinnell and his supervisor Ray Nawell, who she says went out of their way to reunite her son Noah with his teddy.

Mrs Wellington’s mother, Jeanette Verdini, had taken Noah out in his pram in the streets near the family’s Southern River home, when the boy dropped the bear down the drain.

Unable to access the drain to retrieve the toy, Mrs Wellington and her mother were distraught, and Noah couldn’t understand what had happened to his beloved bear.

“Noah was given his ‘Tedda’ the day he was born and has slept with him every night. The teddy bear has a lot of sentimental value and we were devastated when we thought we wouldn’t be able to get it back,” Mrs Wellington said.

Four days later, Mrs Wellington was driving past Casablanca Reserve, Southern River, not far from where the bear was dropped, when she saw Mr Grinnell working in the park. She stopped her car and approached him to see if he could try to retrieve the teddy.

Mr Grinnell contacted Mr Nawell, who searched for the bear in the street where it was thought to be lost, but the City workers had been given the wrong address.

“We’ve only lived in the area for about six months, and initially I gave Peter the wrong street name where Mum had been walking with Noah, so of course Ray couldn’t find the bear when he looked,” she said.

“Peter had told me to call him any time day or night once I had the right information, and a couple of hours after I’d texted him the right address he sent me two photos of Tedda – before and after he was rescued from the drain. We were all so relieved.

“It turned out Peter and Ray had to check about seven drains before they found the right one – I couldn’t believe they had been willing to go out of their way to make a little boy happy. Peter even dropped Tedda off on his way home from work.”

The two men were modest about their efforts and told Mrs Wellington they didn’t need any thanks, but she was determined to make sure the City of Gosnells knew what they had done.

“There was absolutely no need for any fuss. It’s customer service, and that’s what we do at the City of Gosnells,” Mr Grinnell said.

“I’m just glad the whole story had such a happy ending and that the little boy was reunited with his teddy bear.”

City of Gosnells Chief Executive Officer Ian Cowie said customer focus was one of the core values that guided all staff.

“It’s great to know that those values are being demonstrated in our community and I really appreciate that Mrs Wellington got in touch to let us know about this positive experience with our staff,” he said.