FUNDRAISING NEWS: CAMPAIGN WATCH - JUST BREAKING

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Many deafblind children have never enjoyed the spectacle of a colourful Christmas tree or the sound of wrapping paper being torn off presents.

This year, Sense's Christmas appeal aims to boost recruitment levels by raising awareness of the difficulties faced by deafblind children, and the charity hopes that its appeal will raise more than £150,000.

Sense teamed up with design agency Bluefrog and printing company Brown Knight & Truscott to produce two distinctive mail packs, one for its 'warm' donors and one for its 'cold' donors.

"This is the first time we have tried to recruit at Christmas, and my team has worked really hard to come up with a concept that would engage both existing and potential donors", said Kathy McKay, direct marketing manager at Sense.

Developed by direct marketing officer Liz Williams, the first series of mail packs was sent to 50,000 warm donors and tells the story of a four year-old deafblind child called Scott.

The pack focuses on his progress following an assessment made by Sense of his sensory potential.

The second series of packs was sent to 30,000 people who have not yet made a donation to the charity.

The reader is introduced to a little girl called Jessica who has started to communicate with her parents after Sense discovered that she has limited vision in one of her eyes.

Each pack contains two silver angels to show that something as simple as a shiny Christmas decoration can help stimulate limited sight and enable a deafblind child to leave a life of isolation behind. One of the angels is a gift, while the other invites the recipient to write a personal message of hope on the back. The second angel is meant to be returned to Sense and then used to decorate a Sense Family Centre.

So far, the charity has achieved good results and hopes to exceed its initial target of £150,000.

"The targets for the 'cold' pack have been smashed in under a week, and we have high hopes that the donations from the 'warm' appeal will once again reach high levels of income", said McKay.

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