Children in Need: Memories, Fundraising and More

In anticipation of the BBC’s annual television appeal for Children in Need this Friday, we wanted to find out what people think makes it a memorable and successful campaign. We wanted to know whether people had any specific highlights from previous broadcasts or stories of their own fundraising activities. We also asked what kind of activities people were participating in this year to raise money for the charity.

Almost everyone in our panel mentioned the annual BBC broadcast campaign and the original host, Terry Wogan. The guest celebrity appearances in the Eastenders and Coronation Street skits were also highlighted by several people as their favourite part of the show, particularly the famous collaboration between the casts in 2010. Many also commented on how hilarious they found the newsreaders’ sketches.

‘It was a big deal seeing serious people in not so serious poses’ (Nicky, 44, Sutton).

As well as being quality entertainment, a number of the panel thought the harrowing videos and documentaries throughout the broadcast made it impossible to forgot the fantastic cause behind it all.

‘It makes you think a great deal about under privileged children all around the world who really need our help’ (John, 68, Dumfries).

We also asked our panel whether they had done anything to raise money for Children in Need which was specifically memorable and if they had plans to fundraise this year. They responded with a range of wild, dangerous and fun activities, including; bake sales, sponsored runs, sing-a-longs, sky diving and a considerable amount of baked bean baths!

‘My favourite memory is old school 90s Children in Need, where people would sit in a bath of Baked Beans and Terry Wogan would tell us all about it’ (Ben, 31, Dronfield).

The iconic Pudsey Bear featured in a lot of fundraising schemes. Wall displays, cookies and even coins in the shape of Pudsey were a large part of school campaigns. One of our panel was planning to take an innovative spin on the traditional bake sale fundraiser with a Great British Bake Off style event.

However, some of our panel were less enthusiastic about donating to the cause. Some of our panel felt that Children in Need receives an unfair amount of media attention in comparison with other charities.

‘There are a lot more charities closer to home that I would rather focus my time on’ (Emma, 23, Staines).

Others similarly believed that that the excess of celebrity and commercial endorsement has actually prohibited the cause.

‘It doesn’t make me want to give money anymore than someone shaking a bucket in the street […] there are so many of these things now. We go from Stoptober to Movember…’ (Sue, 52, Hockley).

Some of our panel even said they thought Children in Need might be failing as a brand in recent years. ‘I don’t even know when it is’ (Thomas, 22, Nottingham).

However, the majority of our panel agreed that BBC Children in Need is fantastic because it creates a feeling of camaraderie throughout the nation every year. From stories of national events and celebrity appeals to annual school and office fundraising days, they loved the idea that other people were participating in similar activities all over the country.

‘I love the camaraderie, I love that everyone comes together’ (Max, 23, Hastings).

‘It brings everyone across the country together behind one cause’ (Susie, 27, Birmingham).