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Our community champions just love putting smiles on faces for BBC Children in Need

November 14, 2019 05:20 PM

From Pudsey Bear parties to school and hospital visits our wonderful team of community champions have been out and about putting smiles on people's faces in support of this year's BBC Children in Need appeal.

On Anglesey, our Llangefni store's community champion Sam Broadley and Pudsey Bear have been calling at all 41 primary schools on the island – covering more than 300 miles on a nine-day tour.

Sam said: "It's been hard work but so rewarding. I just love seeing the children's faces when Pudsey turns up! Last year we visited 37 schools, but we wanted to ensure nobody missed out this year.

"The children have been so over the moon, screaming and shouting – some of them have even crying in delight and excitement! It's been challenging trying to fit five schools a day in, but it's been worth it. I just got a map out of Anglesey and dotted very school all over it then worked out the best routes. But it's gone very smoothly. I think our Pudsey crew have covered about 300 miles. I'm so proud of them.

"We've been to schools who have had 400 children and one which only had 14! We've loved doing it and the kids have just loved seeing Pudsey."

On the Isle of Wight, our Newport store's community champion Clare Jones took on the Pudsey Challenge and visited over 20 attractions and locations across the island in seven hours.

Clare said: "We started live on the local radio station, which was fabulous, and then embarked on the task. The weather wasn't kind – it seemed like the coldest wettest day ever – but we continued on through the rain. Pudsey even put his wellies on it was so wet! Along the way we met tigers, held a sloth, met Robin Hood, and put smiles on lots of children and adults faces and raised £436. .Just as we completed the challenge the sun came out as we arrived back at our store!"

Pudsey called in at our Enniskillen store, where community champion Simon Harron arranged an afternoon of face painting and fun for local children. The theme of the activities centred around the Power of Play, which champions the importance of play in child development and aims to inspire simple new ideas for play.

In Wrexham our community champion Mary William went along to visit a local school with Pudsey, saying hello to all 20 classes. She said: "All the teachers and pupils really enjoyed meeting Pudsey."

Pudsey certainly bought lots of smiles from patients and nurses at Willow Ward Darent Valley Hospital. Our Greenhithe store's community champion Bridget Sparks, who shared this photo below, said: "I volunteer on the ward every Monday, so I decided Pudsey would be a welcome visitor. I think I was right! There were lots of laughs and smiles."

Our Bury St Edmonds store's community champion Michelle Frost shared the photo below of Pudsey in her store. She said: "Since I was little Pudsey has always been my favourite bear, so it's always an exciting time when he comes to join us in fundraising. He really enjoyed having a go on the maze game!"

Colleagues at our Larne store have been dressing up to show their support for BBC Children in Need:

The store's community champion Catherine McCallion hosted an afternoon of fundraising activities. She said: "We had a brilliant time – and it’s amazing to be able to contribute to the overall fund and help local children."

As part of the campaign, customers can pick up free play passes which children will be able to trade in with a grown-up for 30 minutes of play. Each of the play passes offers a different play activity and will help children to learn a variety of life skills, such as teamwork, patience and resilience, that will aid their development.

Our Gloucester store's community champion Faye Edwards took Pudsey with her when she dropped in at Tuffley Primary School.

She said: "Needless to say the children and teachers especially Mrs Hunter loved Pudsey. He really stole the show."

Here's Gary Anderson, community champion at our Chesser store in Edinburgh, showing his support:

A big thank you to everyone for their support.