I do love the annual Children in Need appeal. Not particularly for the entertainment surrounding it, although that generally makes for a rather lovely evening together as a family, but for the giving and knowing of how the fundraiser really helps people, for the sense of how, even when money is tight, we dig into our pockets and find something to give.
But I can’t help wondering about the children that are not helped by the charity. And are some of our youngsters growing up thinking that the annual appeal takes care of all children in need – a very simplistic idea, I know, but just something I wonder about.
My children and I watched a wonderful DIY SOS this week which demolished one building, totally unfit for purpose, and built a new one for Little Miracles in Peterborough, a parent led support group and charity for families with children that have additional needs, disabilities and life limiting conditions. We wept and smiled and were so very glad for the hundreds of families that will benefit from the new premises. All started by one parent of disabled children who took a moment of kindness from a stranger and built a support group for other parents and their children. Amazing woman.
This is the kind of thing we trust Children in Need to support – the organisations that don’t have big names or sponsors or patrons to attract the funding essential to their work. The website is pretty clear in how to go about requesting a grant, large or small, or for emergency essentials and hopefully this reaches far and wide. With the millions raised, it certainly should. But who checks? Are there any kind of figures on how these major events actually improve child poverty, or is it all just a drop in the ocean. Do we think the situation overall is being addressed and taken care of with our yearly fundraisers?
Just a thought or two, not cynical, just wondering…