Since 1988 comedians like Lenny Henry have encouraged the nation to open their big hearts and dig deep in their pockets to support Comic Relief. Every year Red Nose Day aims to raise as much money as possible to support children in need in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest communities. Preparations are in full swing for this biannual event which is planned for Friday 15th March. According to the official website “people across the land can get together and raise money at home, school and work.”(1)
Individuals are already donating via text message and giving their money to collection tins across the British Isles where fundraisers are holding events to mark the occasion. Designer discount retailer TK Maxx and sister company Homesense were quick off the starting block with a striking in store sponsored indoor cycling event to generate charity funds. The spacious clothing and homeware store in Fareham in Hampshire has given all their team members a go at biking for charity whilst at work.
“Since 2005 together with our customers, we’ve helped raise over £21m to help Comic Relief” stated the company in a marketing email to customers this week. (2) The department store chain has also teamed up with Comic Relief to sell a special range of Minnie Mouse Disney T-shirts for £9.99 with most of the money going to worthy causes that benefit kids.
Other big business and brand sponsors include Sainsburys, British Airways, Ryman, Specsavers, Chicago Town, Babybel, Maltesers and Oxfam. The organisers are promising “a fantastic night of TV on the BBC, with comedy and entertainment to inspire the nation to give generously.” (1)
All ages and all sorts of people are choosing to fundraise in many different ways. ComicRelief.com stated that “last year schools and nurseries found all sorts of creative events to combine to a total for the charity on the night of £5 million.” (1)
Disney characters with red noses are the theme of a merchandise range that is available on the official website and some of the larger sizes have already sold out. DJ’s Scott Mills and Chris Stark joined forces to host the funniest ever 24 hour broadcast on Radio 1. Their 27 hour marathon generated an amazing £324931 for good causes. (3)
The donated money is allocated to help homeless young people in the UK and those struggling with mental health problems and at risk of domestic violence. Other projects around the world that are helped by Comic Relief include supporting children in refugee camps in Serbia to protecting and training youngsters in Africa to improve their health and ability to survive and build their communities.
This years Children In Need Red Nose Day is sure to be a hoot and many stars from national TV and stage are joining forces on BBC1 to make this year a charity ‘LOL’ laugh-a-thon an entertaining night to remember.