It’s Red Nose Day!

Lenny Henry

Lenny Henry

“Creating a just world free from poverty”

Today is Red Nose Day, otherwise known as Comic Relief. Every year the country comes together to raise money to bring about positive and lasting change in the lives of poor and disadvantaged people around the world.

Comic Relief was founded in 1985 by scriptwriter and film director Richard Curtis (Blackadder, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Love Actually) and comedian Lenny Henry in response to the famine in Ethiopia. It was launched from a refugee camp in Sudan on Christmas Day that year during Noel Edmonds’ Late, Late Breakfast Show on BBC 1. Now every year the BBC holds a telethon one evening in March in order to raise millions of pounds to help those who need it most.

Since the start of Comic Relief, the charity has raised over £800 million for people in the UK and around the world and because of this:

  • 600,000 people have access to healthcare
  • 164,000 children received an education
  • 52,000 people have accessed clean water
  • 118 projects have been funded that help sexually exploited and trafficked young people
  • 15,786 UK projects have helped support people living incredibly tough lives around the country

At the start of Comic Relief, when everyone else was turning a blind eye to the number of young people sleeping rough on city streets in the UK, one of the very first grants they ever made enabled the homelessness charity Centrepoint to buy two washing machines – a much-needed resource for the young people who had nothing but the clothes on their backs. They also funded research on the issue which put youth homelessness back on the political agenda.

They have also used funds to bring together two key domestic violence agencies and levered government funding to create the first ever 24-hour, free-phone, national helpline.  They developed the first ever online system to show vacancies at refuges for women in desperate need. Both services have helped thousands of women and have vitally saved lives.

In the mid ‘90s, they supported four widows in the aftermath of the Rwandan genocide and now continue to support survivors in great need with counselling and practical help so they can earn a living. Comic Relief have played a small but significant part in creating the new Rwanda.

This year  people are raising money all over the country for Comic Relief by being sponsored for things, selling unwanted items, waxing body parts, dressing up, holding bake offs etc. For ideas on how to help raise money today please check out the website here.

Even the smallest donation can have a huge impact. The boys from One Direction recently went out to Ghana to see how your cash changes lives in developing countries. You can support them by donating here.

Donating £5 can buy exercise books for 5 children living on the streets of Ghana so they can go to school. It can also buy a simple vaccine that can mean the difference between life and death.

How You Can Help

There are many ways you can help this Red Nose Day. TK Maxx are currently selling the Stella McCartney designed official Comic Relief t-shirts, as modelled by Rihanna and Kate Moss below. They cost just £9.99 and are made from Fairtrade certified cotton – wear one and you’ll be sending a positive message back to cotton farmers in Mali that we continue to support them. Read more about the farmers here.

Rihanna in the Marilyn Comic Relief t-shirt

Rihanna in the Marilyn Comic Relief t-shirt

Kate Moss in the Tommy Cooper t-shirt

Kate Moss in the Tommy Cooper t-shirt

Alternatively you can donate to Comic Relief here.

The telethon starts tonight at 7pm on BBC 1.

Red Nose Day –

Comic Relief –

Thanks for reading,


red nose day


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