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Harrods hails Belfast teddy bear couple who raised £10k for charity

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Morris and Jenny Corrin

Morris and Jenny Corrin

Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph

The bear gifted by Harrods

The bear gifted by Harrods

Morris and Jenny Corrin

A shielding couple who created a display of 60 teddy bears in the garden of their Belfast home as a way of cheering up passers-by have raised £10,600 for Marie Curie.

Morris Corrin's efforts brought he and his wife to the attention of Harrods of London.

The world-famous department store was so impressed it gifted the couple a Christmas bear to go with the 25 other Harrods bears in their collection.

Morris said that when he and his wife Jenny first displayed the bears, they never imagined they would strike such a chord with people, who came from right across Belfast to see them.

Each day Morris meticulously set out the bears, posed with a different theme, except at weekends, with Saturdays dedicated to a sporting theme and Sundays devoted to a religious theme.

He said: "Our intention was to put a smile on the faces of people walking past our house in the midst of the pandemic.

"We were putting the bears out for three weeks before someone suggested raising funds, which of course we did.

"Marie Curie is a cause so many people identify with and they have an office close to our house.

"That's how we chose them and we are over the moon with the amount we raised.

"I had initially hoped that we would collect somewhere in the region of £4,000 or £5,000, so to raise over £10,600 has been amazing."

While being able to make such a generous donation to Marie Curie was an unexpected outcome, receiving a coveted Harrods bear in the post was another.

"My wife has about 25 Harrods bears in her collection," Morris explained.

"I gave her a bear every Christmas before I retired and was travelling back and forward to London.

"Of course, these were part of our daily display.

"I never could have imagined anyone from Harrods would see our story in the Belfast Telegraph, let alone send this year's bear as a thank-you to us.

"It was such a generous gesture and a big surprise when the bear arrived in the post with a lovely note from Harrods.

"I wrote back updating them on the final tally collected for Marie Curie and to say a big thank-you.

"The bear, which is called Nicolas, is a very welcome addition to the collection.

"It will be a constant reminder of this very unusual time we have found ourselves in."

Belfast Telegraph