Children in Need – I don’t really need to say much more, do I? Pudsey Bear has become such a familiar image, and to say the work done by the charity is impressive is something of an understatement. They provide grants to UK projects which focus on children and young people who are disadvantaged, supporting small and large organisations which empower children and extend their life choices, and are currently supporting over 3,000 local charities and projects in communities across the UK. The projects they fund help children facing a range of disadvantages for example poverty and deprivation; children who have been the victims of abuse or neglect or disabled young people.
Their annual appeal day will be on November 13th this year, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who always watches the BBC show, for many years fronted by the late Sir Terry Wogan, so very engaged by all those real life stories – last year the appeal raised £47.9 million. And I’m sure you’ll also remember the Big Night In fundraising appeal this April, in response to the current crisis, when BBC Children in Need and Comic Relief came together and raised a phenomenal £70 million for projects across the UK, including £20 million for the National Emergencies Trust and £4 million for NHS charities together.
Who wouldn’t want to be part of that? And the writing community has found a magnificent way to support the fundraising effort – an annual auction, bigger this year than ever before, generously providing signed copies of their books for readers to bid on. The auction went live yesterday – a wonderful 513 lots at the last count – and you’ll find the auction site here. There are still 61 days to go until the auction closes – I’ve just checked, and early bids have already raised over £3000.
Now I don’t know about you, but I can never resist getting my hands on signed copies of books by my favourite authors – and it makes it all the more irresistible when you’re also supporting such a worthwhile cause. And you’ll most certainly find some of your favourite authors on the site, whatever your reading tastes.
I explored a little last night. You don’t need to plough through all the listings – you can filter by genre if that makes it easier. And the site is very easy to use – you do need to register, but you can then place a bid on any book that catches your eye (anonymously if you’d rather do it that way) just by clicking on the book covers. I found so many books I’d love to add to my shelves, and made a few initial bids – you can set an upper limit, the site will bid for you up to that limit, and if you’re no longer the highest bidder you’ll receive an email to let you know. I’ve already been outbid on a few of mine (curses!), but I’ll certainly be returning to the site to try again. All books have a starting price of £5 – and you’ll find plenty where your opening bid can still be less than £10.
Go on, give it a try, you know you can never have enough books – and a massive thank you to all the authors who’ve so generously contributed. Thank you too to John Jackson for all his behind-the-scenes activity and for the images I’ve used in this post.