Fundraising News: Blue Peter chooses Red Cross for its appeal

Joe Gill

The BBC's Blue Peter programme has made the British Red Cross its charity partner for its annual appeal, to help the agency reunite Angolan families in the aftermath of the country's civil war.

Viewers can participate by donating special Blue Peter bags of clothing at Red Cross shops, which will then be sold to raise an anticipated £250,000.

The Red Cross pitched the family-tracing programme to Blue Peter earlier in the year, and was chosen by a selection panel.

The programme alternates support from a domestic to an international issue each year. Last year's appeal was for Mencap.

A Red Cross spokeswoman said the reaction to the announcement on the flagship children's programme was immediate.

"We opened the phone line on Monday and were inundated with requests for appeal packs - 46,500 in the first three days," she said.

The Red Cross took Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq to Angola in August to film several case studies of families being reunited, three of which have already been broadcast. "It is a very compelling ask - no one else is doing this kind of thing," said the spokeswoman. "So far, we've had more appeal requests than in any previous year."

"As you can imagine, our shops around the country are gearing up for all the clothes that will be donated."

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