11/09/2015 04:07 BST | Updated 10/09/2016 06:12 BST

BBC Children in Need 2015


At BBC Children in Need our vision is simple and longstanding: that every child in the UK has a safe, happy and secure childhood, with the chance to reach their potential.

Every year we launch a campaign designed to galvanise fundraisers all across the UK, and last year you did us proud by helping raise a staggering £49.1million. Looking forward, I'm proud to launch our 2015 Appeal supported by a range of familiar faces; though look twice as they might not be who you expect.

For 2015 we're asking our supporters to dress up as their childhood hero. It's an exciting ask and we've already had a great response from some celebrity friends. Sir Terry Wogan heads up the troupe as his childhood favourite Gene Autry, the Singing Cowboy, while Dermot O'Leary was quick to suggest Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton. I'll let you work out the others yourself, but a reminder that you're looking out for; Tess Daly, Nick Grimshaw, Rochelle Humes and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

If dressing up isn't for you, then perhaps one of the other classics is. Why not hold a cake sale, host a quiz with friends and colleagues, or undertake a sponsored challenge? Every penny raised really will go on to make a difference.

It may feel a long way from fancy dress and bake sales to the most disadvantaged children in our society, but the truth is that we can only be there to help due to the imagination, commitment and energy of our supporters.

At present BBC Children in Need funds over 2,500 organisations in the UK to deliver projects helping children and young people. Many of these organisations are small charities and voluntary groups with limited other sources of income and, if you live in the UK, chances are you won't be very far from one of the groups that we fund.

The success of our last Appeal means that we have been able to make hundreds of new grants to organisations. To give just a couple of examples: in Manchester we have supported the Hideaway Youth Project which works to help young people avoid gang culture and sexual exploitation. Meanwhile in Wales we've been able to support Surfability, a brilliant project providing disabled young people with the opportunity to take to the waves.

Thanks to your donations we are able to support children and young people affected by all kinds of disadvantages, from illness, poverty and disability, through to those who are facing the loss of a sibling, or are the full-time carers of family members. These young people are living in some truly challenging circumstances, but together we can help make a difference.

We award all of our Appeal income to projects, which means that we need to raise new money each year, to fund new work to help more children. That is why we are determined to make this year the best ever and why we are launching our Appeal today.

Our new fundraising pack is now available from, updated with new ideas for 2015. Regardless of whether you're a seasoned fundraiser or if this will be your first year, there are ideas for all and hopefully a lot of inspiration. While the ideas are fun, the message is serious: we need your support to help change the lives of some of children and young people who need it most.

Finally I'll end on a big thank you to all those who have already got, or plan to get behind the Charity. Every one of our supporters should be truly proud of what they make possible.

Every penny donated to BBC Children in Need is used to support projects helping disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. This is possible as the Charity's running costs are met from investment income, Gift Aid and product sales.

This year's Appeal will culminate with a night of live entertainment on BBC One from 7pm, Friday 13 November.