With BBC Children in need coming up this Friday, it is time to celebrate people’s generosity, care and compassion. Something that is all the more important following a notorious year of surprise election results, celebrity deaths and the Brexit vote. But fear not, the year will end happily as celebrities, members of the community and companies like ours have clubbed together for months to see massive sums of money raised for this vital cause.
BBC Children in Need started in 1927 with a 5-minute radio appeal on Christmas Day, raising £1,143 18s 3d, which was split between four children’s charities. Since then, £800 million has been raised, and BBC Children in Need is currently sponsoring 2,400 projects across the UK. Every penny raised goes to making the lives of unprivileged children better.
Interactive Theatre International wanted to be a part of it, and began raising money for BBC Children in Need at our Faulty Towers The Dining Experience shows in 2009, when we raffled off a garden gnome and raised humble £1000. Our audiences have been so generous over the years, constantly reaching into their hearts and pockets to donate more money every year. This year we’ve raised a fantastic £13,762.75 – our highest total ever!
Having started collecting for BBC Children in Need 2016 at the beginning of August, we’ve had over 3 months of fundraising memories that we want to share with you.
Edinburgh Festival was a fantastic month for us – not only did Faulty Towers The Dining Experience bring side-splitting laughter to thousands of audience members, we also raised £2,518.98 at B’est Restaurant. A brilliant start to what continued to be an extremely charitable UK tour!
Next stop was The Lowry in Salford, where we packed six shows into four days, and in return our fantastic audiences gave us a whopping £770.89 for BBC Children in Need.
From 6 September, we had three Faulty Towers casts collecting at once – one at Nottingham Theatre Royal, another at Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, and the third at West End residency venue, Amba Hotel Charing Cross in London.
All three teams did such an amazing job, but the winner is… drum roll please… Nottingham Theatre Royal! In only eight shows across six days, we raised £857.29 – thank you Nottingham!
From mid-September our UK tour subsided and our fundraising focused on the London shows at Amba Hotel Charing Cross. Despite London living prices, our audiences have been constantly generous in support of this great cause.
We’d like to give a special shout out to a lovely couple, Gordon & Pat Nisbet, who made a single donation of £500 at one of our Charing Cross shows. They run non-profit charity events and are planning to book the show in Saudi Arabia – we’re really hopeful this happens!
To end our final night of fundraising, last Sunday, we celebrated our grand total of £13,762.75 with a massive thank you to everyone involved. This would have all been impossible without our incredibly generous audiences.
BBC Children in Need’s appeal night is Friday 18 November, so don’t forget to keep giving all you can using the link below – you can change a child’s life.