Golden Bear founder cheers young hospital patients

Published on: 25th April 2023

John Hales, founder of Golden Bear Toys, took his retired Grand National winner, Neptune Collonges, to visit children at Alder Hey’s Children’s Hospital.

Jockeys visit Alder Hey Hospital with National Winner Neptune Collonges – Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723

The founder of Golden Bear took his retired Grand National winner, Neptune Collonges, to visit children on the wards at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. John and Neptune Collonges were accompanied on the visit by jockeys Nico de Boinville, Harry Skelton, Aidan Coleman and Patrick Mullins.

During the visit, children, parents and staff at the hospital were given the chance to meet the gentle grey, a 21-year-old winner of the Grand National back in 2012. Speaking to the Shropshire Star, John Hales commented: “We’ve been coming here every year since Neptune Collonges won the Grand National, excluding the two Covid years.” said John. “He loves it and his temperament with the children is brilliant.”

John added: “I enjoy this day too, it’s nice to be able to put a smile on the children’s faces and very rewarding. I’m sure Neptune knows when this day comes around – he loves seeing children.”

Helen Hughes, Community and Fundraising manager at Alder Hey Children’s Charity said: “We would like to thank John for bringing Neptune Collonges to the hospital again this year. The visit is one we all look forward and having such a beautiful horse coming to meet our children, families and staff makes it a day to remember for everyone at Alder Hey.”

Photograph by Grossick Racing Photography 0771 046 1723

Golden Bear Toys was founded in 1979, growing to a successful business which offers a wide range of toys. The company has recently enjoyed a hugely positive reception to its interactive plush range, Curlimals, which joins lines based on popular characters from Hey Duggee, In the Night Garden and Bing, as well as much more.

The company also produces a collection of Elephant soft toys especially for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. The cute and cuddly plush elephants are available in a variety of vibrant colours, and Ali, Olli, Elli and Joli each has their own individual personality, designed to cheer up children in the hospital and give them a companion during their stay there.


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