Who happens to all the money we give to charity? What kind of thing do charities raise money for? This assembly for primary schools looks at the ethos of fundraising for others, in particular BBC Children in Need, as well as looking at some of the wackier ideas of people raising money

On Friday 14 November, the BBC will have its annual telethon ‘BBC Children in Need’ appeal. The charity supports children ‘to positively change the lives of disadvantaged children and young people in the UK’. The money goes towards projects and organisations that work ‘with children who have mental, physical or sensory disabilities; behavioural or psychological disorders; are living in poverty or situations of deprivation; or suffering through distress, abuse or neglect’.

Resources
Any information about your own school’s BBC Children in Need appeal, or other local or national events.

Introduction
This week, our school is raising money for BBC Children in Need. Who can tell us what’s happening? [Take suggestions – have a full list of school and/or local events to hand]

Yes, and we’ll be seeing a lot of Pudsey, the BBC Children in Need teddy bear, on TV on Friday night, too. And all over Britain, other schools are having fun events to raise money. We’ll hear about some of them in a minute. But first, let me ask you a question – and I want you to really think about the answer. What are charities for? [Take suggestions]

Those are some good answers. Charities are started for lots of reasons:

  • Charities are often started by one person, or a small group of people, who want to do something to help – and they need money so that they can offer the help
  • Charities help people who aren’t able to help themselves
  • Some charities raise money to help care for animals; others for special places like old buildings or beautiful parts of the countryside
  • Some charities raise money for people, animals and places in other countries
  • Some charities help people whose homes have been damaged in floods, or earthquakes or in wars.

Why do we raise money for charity? [Take suggestions]

Those are some good answers. We fundraise for charities for lots of reasons:

  • It helps charities to do good things for others
  • When we raise money for charities, it’s a way of us helping people we will never meet
  • It makes us feel good.

It’s a sad fact, but even when we don’t have much money ourselves, there will always be someone somewhere in the world – and in this country – who is worse off than we are. Always.

BBC Children in Need raises a lot of money to help other children. And people do some really funny, crazy, or fun things to raise money!

Events for BBC Children in Need
In Somerset they’re making BBC Children in Need a colourful event. At the Little Rascals nursery in Yeovil, children are having a rainbow day where the challenge is to dress in as many different colours as possible. They’re also holding a cake sale and having lots of fun and games.

  • At All Hallows School in Shepton Mallet they’re continuing the colourful theme with a fancy dress day at school.
  • In West Yorkshire, hairdressing students are having a sponsored walk around Bradford and local hairdressers are contributing donations from their salons, too.
  • In Weston-super-Mare, people are abseiling down the side of a very tall building!
  • The people of Ballynahinch in Northern Ireland are having a country music evening.
  • In Oxted in Surrey, fundraisers have organised mini funfairs and rides in a horse and carriage on the village green.
  • In Staffordshire, they’re having a Pudsey Party in Weston Village Hall, followed by a 15-mile walk the next day.

So we’ve heard some of the wacky things people are doing to raise money. But how does BBC Children in Need spend the money that is raised?

The Bubble Unit in NewcastleAdam was born without an immune system: that means even catching a cold could make him very, very ill – or even kill him. Every year a small number of children are born without an immune system – but there’s good news for children like Adam, because there’s a cure that will make them better.

At a big hospital in Newcastle, doctors and nurses have the Bubble Unit. That sounds fun, doesn’t it, but the Bubble is really a special plastic den where children who don’t have immune systems can live while they’re having their treatment. The Bubble keeps away all the germs that will hurt them, while the doctors and nurses are making them better.

BBC Children in Need helps support the Bubble Unit to make sure that children like Adam can lead full and happy lives.

Conclusion
Raising money to help charities, especially BBC Children in Need, can be a fun thing to do, but we mustn’t forget how important our help is, too.

Prayer
Dear Father,We pray today for the girls and boys, men and women who have worked so hard to raise money for charities. We pray that their fundraising events will raise lots of money to help others who need our help.

Amen.

Reflection
Remember, one penny isn’t a lot of money, but if a thousand people give one penny to help others, that’s £10. If a million people give one penny, that’s £100,000. Individually we can all make a difference, but we can make a much bigger difference when we all work together.

Further information
Find out more about BBC Children in Need and what’s going on in your area

Find out more about the Bubble Unit

This e-bulletin issue was first published in November 2008

About the author: Jane A. C. West

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