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BBC Children in Need

50 projects for a better future - celebrating five decades of projects making a difference

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BBC Children in Need

A yellow teddy bear with an injured right eye might seem an unlikely hero. But as mascot of BBC’s Children in Need charity, Pudsey Bear has become a symbol for over £1bn of donations to help change the lives of disadvantaged children in the UK. The charity, founded in 1980, conducts an annual fundraising programme that culminates in a celebrity-fronted TV telethon, which smashes its own donation records year after year. The charity is currently supporting over 2,500 local charities and projects that are helping children living in poverty, facing disability or illness, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma.

“I think if they wanted to get me to leave Children in Need they’d have to drag me off screaming.” – Sir Terry Wogan, presenter of the annual telethon 1980–2014

460,000 children supported in 2020/2021

£39m raised in the 2021 telethon

£1m raised in the first telethon in 1980