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Charity Christmas Appeal totals: the round up

Charity Christmas Appeal totals: the round up

Christmas 2019 proved to be record-breaking for a number of festive charity appeals, including BookTrust and the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. Here’s a round up of some of the totals.



BookTrust Christmas Appeal raised £47,000 over target amount

Donations to BookTrust’s Christmas fundraising appeal raised a record £240,000: £47,000 over the target amount.

The campaign launched on 4 November, and Giving Tuesday and the day after saw BookTrust receive a record 1,653 donations in just those two days.

The festive appeal forms part of the charity’s Letterbox project, which sends book parcels out to children who are vulnerable or in care. Children across the UK are enrolled for the club by local authorities and schools. Each receives a parcel of books, maths games, stationery and other high-quality materials once every month for six months, from May to October.

BookTrust called on the public to donate £10 to donate a special book parcel and brighten up a child’s Christmas. Over 8,000 people made donations to the appeal and 12,480 parcels were delivered to the children.

BookTrust chose six hardback books for children aged 3-13. Each parcel contains one book, a letter from award winning author and current Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, a poster and bookmark created by Neal Layton, and a postcard.

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO, said:

“We’re absolutely thrilled by the support from the public and thanks to so many generous donations, we have been able to send a festive gift of a book to each of the 12,250 children in our 2019 Letterbox programme. We would like to thank everyone who donated and helped to light up Christmas for so many children who are vulnerable or in care with the gift of a story.”



Celebrate a Life 2019The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity celebrates festive fundraising milestone

The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity’s Christmas campaign raised over £103,000, it has announced – a new high for the charity.

The ‘Celebrate a Life’ annual campaign encourages supporters to make a donation and have a name of their choice written on a star and hung on one of the Christmas trees outside the hospitals in Chelsea and Sutton during December. This Christmas there were more stars on the trees than ever before with over 3,000 being named. 

Supporters chose to dedicate stars for many different reasons including in memory of someone special, to say thank you to a member of staff who supported them at the hospital, or just to celebrate themselves or the people in their lives. 

Now in its 16th year, Celebrate a Life sees two carol services take place in December where supporters can come to the hospital and sing carols alongside a choir, watch the Christmas tree light switch on and find their special star on the tree. 

Money raised from Celebrate a Life helps to fund state-of-the-art equipment, research, and a range of other initiatives at The Royal Marsden.  The campaign has grown substantially over the years and has more than doubled the amount it has raised since 2012.

Antonia Dalmahoy, Managing Director of The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, said:

“It was humbling to see the thousands of stars across the Christmas trees each shining brightly for a life that has been touched by cancer. Celebrate a Life is such a special occasion for patients, their loved ones, our supporters and staff, and every star named is helping us make a vital difference.  I’m extremely proud of this fantastic fundraising total which means we can continue to support The Royal Marsden’s exceptional work.”


More Christmas appeal totals: in tweets

Guardian & Observer Christmas Appeal

The Guardian and Observer 2019 charity appeal has raised more than £1m in support of projects that aim to plant and protect trees, woodlands and rainforest.

More than 13,000 readers donated an average of £75 each. The money will be shared between Woodland TrustTrees for LifeTrees for Cities and Global Greengrants Fund UK, and spent on initiatives promoting social and climate justice through natural climate solutions.


Sunday Times Charity Appeal

The Sunday Times Charity Appeal has raised more than £1.2million from cheques, Just Giving donations and Gift Aid to date. The campaign for the Education Endowment Foundation is aimed at helping families in some of the UK’s by providing support throughout the holidays, including keeping schools open, and funding day trips and expeditions that boost learning.



Main image: Deborah James, a patient at The Royal Marsden who took part in Celebrate a Life

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via

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