The Variety Club has teamed up with children's characters the Mr Men for this year's Gold Heart appeal, with the target of raising £100,000.
Limited-edition gold heart badges of Little Miss Naughty, Little Miss Sunshine, Mr Happy and Mr Tickle are now available to buy in branches of WHSmith, Barclays and in London department store Harrods. Adam Hargreaves, son of Mr Men creator Roger, has designed the badges. Each retails at £3 and comes with a soft toy of the corresponding character.
Harrods will also host a celebrity tea party on 1 February to back the campaign.
The appeal has run for the past 15 years and has so far raised £16.5m in the UK and £30m worldwide towards the charity's work with sick, disabled and disadvantaged children. The badges have a different design each year; the Variety Club says some are collector's items.
Guide Dogs and the International Glaucoma Association hope to benefit from an optometrist's plans to haul a sled 700 miles from the west of the Antarctic Peninsula to the South Pole. Cameron Hudson aims to raise £250,000 in sponsorship for his journey, and will also use the trek to research the impact of the polar environment on eyesight.
John Grooms, the disability charity, is asking people to sponsor a room in its new state-of-the-art residential home in Southend. The organisation has taken out press adverts and launched a door-drop campaign asking donors to pledge £4 a week by direct debit in a bid to reach its fundraising target of £30,000.
Barnardo's has launched its Bag It Up toy appeal, asking people to donate unwanted Christmas presents to their local Barnardo's store. The charity hopes to capitalise on the estimated 65 million unwanted presents Britons received in December. It raised £130,000 last year.
Disability North will assemble 20 experienced walkers to hike the 88 miles of Hadrian's Wall in May. Sponsorship money for the event will fund the charity's free information and advice service for disabled people and their families across the Newcastle area.