Fundraising News: Documentary repeat raises cash for Debra

Joe Gill

A repeat of the Channel 4 documentary about the last months of the life of Jonny Kennedy, who lived with epidermolysis bullosa (EB), a genetic skin disorder, is likely to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds for Debra, the charity that supports people suffering from the life-threatening genetic illness.

EB causes the skin to blister and shear at the slightest friction and also affects internal body linings.

The first showing of the programme in March raised more than £500,000 for the charity.

The programme, The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off, was watched by nearly 5 million viewers when first screened, making it Channel 4's most successful documentary.

The full impact of the repeat, shown on 4 October, will not be known for some months, but the results are already impressive. "Donations received in the 24 hours following the programme topped £50,000 and it is anticipated the post bag will be full over the next few weeks," said Mark Smith, Debra's director of fundraising and communications.

Debra has doubled its donor database through use of the internet in association with, which makes it easy for people to give. "Our intention now is to capitalise on the success of The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off by ensuring Debra uses this platform for future growth," said Smith.

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