There were smiles all round when our Portadown store's community champion Elaine Livingstone joined Pudsey Bear on a visit to a youth programme supported by BBC Children in Need.
Sticky Fingers, a group based in The Imaginarium Arts Centre in Newry, aims to create opportunities for children to play in their own communities.
Fifty young people were invited to take part in the free ‘There is a WHAT in the Park?’ event, which involved creating a large-scale junk sculpture in McClelland Park with the help of local artist Jim Russell.
The event forms part of a three-year programme of creative play workshops for children and young people who are facing various disadvantages in Newry. Sticky Fingers is supported by BBC Children in Need with a three-year grant of £96,000 to provide play-workshops tailored to the developmental needs of children which encourage educational engagement and help to develop confidence and self-esteem.
Fionnuala Walsh, National Head for BBC Children in Need in Northern Ireland, said: "Sticky Fingers has been receiving funding from BBC Children in Need now for several years to deliver their creative play programme. It gives children and young people in Newry the opportunity to take part in activities that inspire their creativity, encourages them to have fun and play with friends, and inspires them to reach their potential."
Elaine said: "It’s always a privilege to be able to visit the groups that directly benefit from Asda’s support for BBC Children in Need. All of the children and young people taking part had a smile on their face – and it was clear that they were learning new skills and tools through this creative and playful activity.
"A special thank-you to all the kids and volunteers at Sticky Fingers for making me feel so welcome. We were able to create a really special sculpture – with a little help from our friend, Pudsey!"
Thanks for the generous support of our customers and colleagues, we've raised a total of £17.1million for BBB Children in Need and will once again be getting behind this year's appeal.