Cover Image resource: https://www.devonlive.com/news/devon-news/pudsey-bear-heading-town-just-737483
Children in Need is a charity which is part of the BBC and “helps ensure every child in the UK is safe, happy, secure and has the opportunities they need to reach their potential“. According to their website, they offer support to young people with a range of disabilities, illnesses and mental health & wellbeing issues and those affected by sexual exploitation, violence, hunger and social injustice can also seek help from charities set up with money raised through Children in Need.
Although the charity works all year round, it is November, when the annual telethon takes place, that it becomes more visible to the everyday Brit. It was first televised in 1980 with the late Sir Terry Wogan presenting the program and usually takes place on a Friday evening during November. This year, 2021, it takes place on Friday 19th November. The telethon shows a series of short entertaining programs to raise awareness of local charities for young people. Around £1million was raised in the very first televised program in the 1980’s and it has gone on to raise huge amounts of money each year thereafter.
Children in Need is mostly recognised by Pudsey bear, which became the emblem of Children in Need in 1985. It was given a new look in 1986 – the yellow teddy bear with a red spotted bandana over one eye – which was updated to colourful spots in 2007. Around this time of the year, you’ll often see people dressed as Pudsey Bear with money buckets on the streets. Pudsey’s friend, Blush, was introduced in 2009 too.
Money is primarily raised through the telethon, but companies, celebrities and children themselves undertake a whole range of bizarre fundraising activities, such as singing, dancing, walking, running, cycling and rambling to raise money for local charities. Some even hold events or sell products, such as hosting a bake sale. The public can donate money via social media forums, by telephoning in, making bank transfers or dropping money in the charity’s buckets on the streets.