Disclosure. This post mentions an event I attended for free. Plus I received a free goody bag. All opinions are my own.
I recently attended a press lunch event at the Good Hotel in London hosted by Bassetts Vitamins. They have partnered with BBC Children in Need this year and have contributed an amazing £100,000 to support this fantastic cause.
BBC Children in Need is the BBC’s UK corporate charity, and the number one children’s charity in the UK. Since 1980, they have raised over £1 billion to change the lives of children & young people in the UK. Their vision is that every child in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure and allows them the chance to reach their potential. This is achieved by finding and funding inspiring ideas that change children’s lives.
BBC Children in Need are currently supporting over 3,000 projects across the UK, in every region. In the last year they helped improve the lives of 600,000 disadvantaged children and young people. And in the last grant year, they awarded £63.3m to 1,516 projects. Just one of the main grants might pay for a therapist, a specialist youth worker or a bereavement counsellor. It might pay for three years of residential trips, or specialist sports equipment, breakfast clubs, afterschool clubs or an outdoor play area. It might mean the world of difference for a family struggling to cope.
We heard from staff at one such project, the Discover Children’s Story Centre in Stratford. This is the UK’s first hands-on story centre focusing on stories, language and imagination, which opened in 2003 in consultation with local regeneration funders, educationalists, children and parents. They had over 140,000 visitors in 2018/19.
The aims of the Discover Children’s Story Centre are as follows.
- To provide young families, particularly those in East London, with a safe space to play and learn.
- To transform outcomes for children by improving literacy and communication skills, particularly those who are underachieving.
- To promote children’s literature and reading for pleasure to one of the most diverse communities in the UK.
- To increase the parents/carers’ confidence in engaging with and supporting children’s education.
- To provide accessible activities for children and families with disabilities.
- To provide teachers with the skills and techniques to adopt innovative, effective approaches to the learning and teaching of literacy.
A BBC Children in Need grant has been funding the Mighty Mega Special Needs Club at the Discover Children’s Story Centre. This club is a weekly session for children aged 5-14 years with disabilities and special educational needs, and their families. Mighty Mega is a place where a child with a disability isn’t just tolerated but positively welcomed. The children can have the kind of time they want to match their different moods.
And that is just one of many projects at the Discover Children’s Story Centre. Another is Story Sandwich, which is storytelling for children aged 0-5 facing homelessness or transience. Families attend an interactive session, with lunch, free books and free tickets to Discover. Helping to reduce the negative impact on families of living in temporary accommodation. Providing families with stability and improve social engagement in their locality.
There is also Story Worlds – immersive environments to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and imagination. Story Building – a child-led, collaborative way of developing children’s literacy skills. Author and illustrator events. Storytelling for 0-3 year olds. Exhibitions Installations bringing acclaimed books and illustrations to life.
The main fundraising date for BBC Children in Need this year is coming up shortly on Friday 15th November, so whether you’re dressing your kids in spots, baking spotty cookies or something more ambitious, do have lots of fun and let’s hope that plenty of funds are raised for this great work to continue. Don’t forget to tune in to the TV show on BBC1 at 7.30pm.
It was great to network with some of the other bloggers and influencers after the formal presentation. Sorry I didn’t get to speak to you all, but I would like to say thanks to Helen of KiddyCharts, Anna of Twins and Travels and Gemma for some great tips. And we each got a goody bag to take home too. Plus I got to meet Pudsey Bear.
And finally a huge thank you to Jade and team from Hill+Knowlton Strategies who coordinated the event, including colouring entertainment for infuencers’ children and a delicious buffet lunch.
I’d love to hear about how you support BBC Children in Need or other charities?
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