BBC Children in Need launches 2020 appeal

BBC Children in Need has launched its 2020 appeal ahead of it's 40th anniversary telethon in November.

The theme of this year’s event is Together, We Can and culminates in an appeal programme on the BBC on 13 November.

Celebrities backing the campaign include Ade Adepitan, Zoe Ball, Nadiya Hussain, Jamie Oliver, Alex Scott and Joe Wicks.

Promotional activity will focus on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on children and families.

According to a survey for the campaign, 94% of children have had cause to feel worried, sad or anxious over the last six months. More than half of parents say that lockdown has had a negative effect on their child’s overall happiness and wellbeing.

“It’s incredibly tough growing up in such uncertainty and for many children and young people already vulnerable or at risk, life during the pandemic has become even harder,”said BBC Children in Need chief executive Simon Antrobus.

“And, sadly, we are not through it yet. Here at BBC Children in Need we are totally focused on helping and supporting children and young people during these uncertain times and we know too that through the kindness and generosity of our supporters that together, we can collectively help children and young people overcome their challenges and be the best they can be.”

Rosie Millard, chair of BBC Children in Need, added: "Throughout the crisis BBC Children in Need has demonstrated what an effective and inspiring charity it is. We have targeted funds to reach children and young people throughout the country, providing essential support to children in crisis, children who are anxious, lonely or afraid and children in families who have been plunged into poverty.”

This year’s event comes amid a curtailing of face-to-face fundraising due to social distancing measures and increasing financial uncertainty among the public due to recession.

Recession fears

In August the Phone-paid Services Authority warned that charity telethons are set to be hit hard financially due to economic uncertainty impacting on household giving.

This week Virgin Money Giving announced that donations for this year’s London Marathon are down by more than a third compared to last year. Due to social distancing measures fundraising competitors raised money in their own area, with the main event restricted to elite athletes.

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