A north-east project which creates special bears for children going through surgery has celebrated its third birthday.
A Bear Named Buttony, which was created by two friends from Ballater, makes cuddly toys with stomas – just like the youngsters they are given to.
The charity marked its third birthday this month with 1,747 bears donated across the UK.
Stomas are small openings made for medical reasons and can often be traumatic for very young children.
The project was inspired by Jenny Gow’s daughter Eilidh, who had a stoma when she was three years old.
Originally it was Jenny and Lynn Park working on Buttony but they now have a team of five, who liaise with families and design the toys.
Bears cost £30 to create, funded through sponsors, and are made by Canterbury Bears.
Project director Jenny said: “It was because my own daughter had a stoma when she was three.
“She’s now going to be 21, and she thought it would be good to raise awareness.”
Eilidh has created a short documentary about the bears, A Bear Necessity, which won best documentary and best film at the 2017 Scottish Youth Film Festival.
It is on the festival circuit, and she has also created informational videos online.
Jenny said: “We started thinking about a few bears.
“We make them depending on the child’s illness.
“When we started, we thought we would just supply them to Scottish hospitals, to the children’s units.”
The first Buttony bear request was for a little girl in Inverurie, but the bears have since been distributed all over the country after becoming popular.
Jenny added: “We’ve now got almost 7,000 followers on the Facebook page. We had no idea how popular it would be.
“It’s been the most positive thing.”