A COUPLE have raised hundreds of pounds for charity after creating over 50 teddy bear scenes in their garden during lockdown.

Mike and Morag Torrance, who live on Shore Road in Skelmorlie, had originally planned to show the bears to their grandchildren in Ireland, but locals have taken the cuddly toys to their hearts.

Morag, 63, says she has filled her day by having the tiny celebrities in all kinds of weird and wonderful situations, which have even captured the attention of people online as far afield as Australia and Singapore.

She said: “I saw on Facebook that kids were doing a teddy bear hunt, so I put one in the window and set up a teddy bear picnic in the garden and took a photograph of it.

“I posted it online and everybody walking by wanted to stop and chat about it.

“It kind of took off and every day I have put a new scene out - we’ve had pirates, tennis and all sorts.”

Apart from keeping the couple busy, Morag says she has had a great reaction from young and old folk alike.

She said: “A chap passed with his elderly mum and said this is the only way that they can get her to go out a walk.

“Parents have also been passing by and saying that their children want to go on a walk to see the bears.

“I’ve also been making little things for them like jumpers and kilts, using paper napkins for them.

“It all harps back to my Blue Peter days - I always used to make things from the show when I was a kid.”

The couple had never intended for the bears to become a charity project, but after prompting Morag decided to set up an appeal for a charity.

She said: “I was worried a bucket might go missing, so I started a JustGiving page with the money going towards I Am Me Scotland, which deals with disability hate crime."

The original target for the page was £500 but that has quickly been surpassed.

Morag said: “It wasn’t started as a way to raise money for charity, it was just for fun and bring a smile to people’s faces.

“I’ve been really surprised by the response so far - we’ve raised over £600 which is absolutely fantastic."

Despite the popularity of the bears in the village and beyond, Morag says their stay in her front garden will soon be up.

She said: “We are tailing it off because there are roadworks starting on Shore Road and it would just be too noisy.

“We don’t want people stopping to look and causing an accident.

“What started off as a thing just for our grandchildren has become something so much bigger and it’s just great.”

Donations to the teddy bear appeal can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/morag-torrance