Children in Need captures the hearts and minds of us all. We play pranks, cycle from Lands’ End to John O’Groats, (sometimes backwards), abseil down buildings, bake cakes, throw wet sponges at headteachers and attempt activities we wouldn’t normally consider on a damp, dark Friday in November all for a good cause.
Is it a good cause though, or is it another way of playing on our emotions and emptying our pockets because it has a cuddly bear as a mascot? Let’s take a look at the evidence and decide…
The BBC’s first ever appeal for children was a five-minute radio broadcast on Christmas Day in 1927. The response was phenomenal raising a whopping £1,143 (the equivalent of around £62k today) which was split between 4 prominent children’s charities.
The first televised appeal was the 1955 ‘Children’s Hour Christmas Appeal’, presented by Sooty and Harry Corbett. These continued on TV and radio up until 1979, raising a total of £625,836.
In 1980 the appeal was broadcast on BBC One in a new telethon format. Our favourite host Terry Wogan, together with Sue Lawley and Esther Rantzen, captured the public’s imagination to such an extent that the donations increased dramatically and broke the million mark for the very first time.
Children In Need provide much needed support to disadvantaged children and young people, empowering them and extending their life choices. They do this by offering grants to projects and people in all corners of the UK. Their grant programme welcomes applications year round. They award small grants four times a year and main grants three times a year.
So far you – yes you – the brave, the messy, the covered in custard pie and beans people, have helped to raise over £740 million for our future generations………..so is it a good cause? No, it’s a GREAT cause.
So go on, get mixing for the office bake sale, adorn yourself with that yellow wig for school fancy dress day, take a stroll up a mountain or work out your starter for 10 with a quiz. Fundraise with friends, on your own, at work or at school, get your local community involved. Whatever you do, your actions make you a hero in every child’s eyes.