Royston mum’s bear hunt reaches 1,000 members and brings joy to town in virus lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:46 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 15:13 08 April 2020

Stella Mills' teddies with flamingos - bear 241 in Royston. Picture: Stella Mills

Stella Mills' teddies with flamingos - bear 241 in Royston. Picture: Stella Mills

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A mum-of-two has said she is amazed at the community spirit of Royston after her bear hunt idea for the town had more than 1,000 people sign up – with the number continuing to grow.

Royston Goes on a Bear Hunt founder Katie Moulton and her daughter Abigail. Picture: Katie MoultonRoyston Goes on a Bear Hunt founder Katie Moulton and her daughter Abigail. Picture: Katie Moulton

Katie Moulton started the Royston Goes on a Bear Hunt Facebook group on March 21, after she had to close her nail business, Fancy Fingers, when the lockdown was announced.

She told the Crow: “A couple of weeks ago on a Facebook group I saw that in a different town they were putting bears in windows, so I started a page for Royston and asked if anyone wanted to take part in this. Then a mum I know from the school said to add numbers and make it a hunt.

Stella Mills' teddies with flamingos - bear 241 in Royston. Picture: Stella MillsStella Mills' teddies with flamingos - bear 241 in Royston. Picture: Stella Mills

“I expected to get about 50 bears, but it went crazy – within 24 hours we had 300 people.

“Last Friday, I thought we’ve got 700 people in this group – if people could give a pound or two we’d raise some money for the NHS. I set a target for £500 and now we’re at more than £2,600.

Christine Brown's bear 6 in Royston. Picture: Christine BrownChristine Brown's bear 6 in Royston. Picture: Christine Brown

“Everyone in Royston has been so supportive, even adults who haven’t got children at home are taking part and their teddies are doing silly things. It’s really nice.

“I’ve got a two-year-old nephew, Frankie, and my sister was wondering what she would do with him in the lockdown so it’s set up with him in mind. I thought he would get a bit of joy from going outside and pointing at the bears.”

Simone Robinson's bear 2. Picture: Simone RobinsonSimone Robinson's bear 2. Picture: Simone Robinson

Katie has lived in Royston her whole life, apart from a year-long move to Melbourn. She is married to Tom and they have two children, Abigail, nine, and seven-year-old Jake. She is known by many as Katie Nails on Facebook, due to her business – which she has had for seven years.

Organisations in Royston that are also joining in with displaying teddies include No. 41, Cambridge Wine Merchants, Richard Cox House, Abbott Travel and Paul Brett Plumbing – the latter has a ‘touring bear’ in a van.

Katie Moulton's bear 1. Picture: Katie MoultonKatie Moulton's bear 1. Picture: Katie Moulton

Royston Fire Station has bear number 999 and town mayor Rob Inwood has a teddy wearing a chain.

New groups have formed after their founders saw what Katie has achieved, there is now one in Melbourn and another set up by a former client in New Zealand.

Richard Cox House care home in Royston - bear 948. Picture: RCHRichard Cox House care home in Royston - bear 948. Picture: RCH

On Katie’s page, she has made it clear that social distancing should still be practised when out on the hunt during daily exercise, as per the Government guidelines to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The 34-year-old continued: “I was talking to my dad about how initially it was a big boom and then it slowed down and now it’s taken off again and he said you’ve made a version of the virus – in a good way – when one person knows about it and they tell five people it spreads.

Tina Pinner's bear 4 in Royston. Picture: Tina PinnerTina Pinner's bear 4 in Royston. Picture: Tina Pinner

“One lady set up her teddy with flamingos on deck chairs having Pimm’s, another sat her teddy having a picnic, we’ve got teddies climbing trees and cleaning windows and now coming up to Easter people are adding bunny ears! It’s lovely to see.”

Search for ‘Royston Goes on a Bear Hunt’ on Facebook to get involved, and on justgiving.com to donate.

Mayor Rob Inwood's bear 797. Picture: Rob InwoodMayor Rob Inwood's bear 797. Picture: Rob Inwood

Sophie Wilson's bear number 20 in Royston. Picture: Sophie WilsonSophie Wilson's bear number 20 in Royston. Picture: Sophie Wilson

Royston Fire Station - bear 999. Picture: Royston Fire StationRoyston Fire Station - bear 999. Picture: Royston Fire Station

Royston Fire Station - bear 999. Picture: Royston Fire StationRoyston Fire Station - bear 999. Picture: Royston Fire Station

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