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Appealing to the masses?

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This weekend’s Children in Need Appeal seems to have become part of the Autumn calendar, slipping neatly into the space between Halloween and Christmas.

Katy’s school is all geared up for whole school fancy dress day and my work inbox is full of reminders to buy raffle tickets and make a cake for the fundraiser in the college canteen. I was feeling disproportionately pleased with myself for having tracked down some rice paper Pudsey faces to stick on the top, until I stumbled across the BBC’s Children in Need website and realised that I was woefully ill-equipped, Pudsey merchandise-wise.

The huge range of Pudsey onesies, bandanas, cupcake cases and teddy bears named after celebrities will, I’m sure, ensure that this year’s total will be the annual surprise record-breaker that we have come to expect.

It is of course fantastic that Children in Need is so successful, so why do I feel so uncomfortable about the vast range of Pudsey-related merchandise out there this year? Is it because all that razzamatazz sits a little uncomfortably beside the reality of the suffering that we are all raising money to ease? Is it because sitting in a vat of baked beans to raise money for a playground here seems a little trivial when compared to the horrors in the Philippines?

Katy couldn’t wait to make Pudsey cakes with me and wear her pyjamas all day at school. She is thrilled to have been chosen, alongside her friend Pearl, to rattle a bucket at the school gate. So was I, till she let slip that she was chosen because she’s a regular at Breakfast Club so can be relied on to turn up on time. Uh-oh, I thought, she’s also a regular at after-school club – does that make me a dead-beat mum and her a Child In Need?

Either way, I’m seriously starting to worry that Children in Need is getting far too commercial these days – what do you think?

Posted by Amanda Blinkhorn

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