Heartbreaking story behind our Telegraph Appeal
Readers’ generosity never fails to amaze us – this year, these three charities need your vital support
The Telegraph Christmas Charity Appeal now enters its 27th year, and this enduring success stands testament to the generosity of our readers. To date, the appeal has raised close to £24million for a host of deserving causes over the decades. Your donations, small or large, have proven a lifeline to our chosen charities and are a source of great pride to this newspaper. As in previous years, our selected charities for 2017, Missing People, Fareshare and Canine Partners – all of which are briefly introduced below – have been selected as organisations of proven effectiveness that, with the support of our readers, could make rapid strides forward in their chosen fields.
Over the course of this winter, we will publish a series of articles outlining these charities’ vital work, and showing exactly how your donations can make such a difference to the good they already do.
During last year’s Christmas charity appeal you responded with typical compassion, raising £550,000 for the three chosen causes.
In total, £226,495 was raised on behalf of the Heads Together Campaign, which was founded by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry, in partnership with eight leading charities, to encourage people to speak more openly about their mental health.
Throughout the campaign, Heads Together generated millions of conversations about mental wellbeing and encouraged 1.2million men to open up about their problems – not least Prince Harry, who revealed his own personal battle to The Telegraph earlier this year.
On World Mental Health Day in October, the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry announced a £2 million investment to establish a new start-up for digital mental health innovation. The Foundation has also launched a new partnership with the Ministry of Defence to improve the mental health of current and former Armed Forces personnel.
A further £173,896 was raised on behalf of Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, which was founded by the author’s widow, Felicity, to ensure every child in the UK has access to the best possible medical care.
As a direct result of the donations from our readers, the charity has been able to support a specialist nurse for children with neuromuscular disorders at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust (which has a caseload of more than 400 young people) and support a specialist rare disease transition coordinator at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Jane Miles, the charity’s chief executive, praised Telegraph readers for raising “vital funds to continue providing innovative and lifechanging support to seriously ill children and their families”.
She added: “Through last year’s campaign we have been able to expand our work to keep children out of hospital and at home with their families at Christmas.” And then there is Blue Cross, one of the country’s oldest animal charities, which was founded in 1897 to provide medical sanctuary and treatment for the sick, injured and homeless creatures.
Our readers raised £149,701 to help continue its work, and over the past year the charity has helped 23,330 pets through its clinical services and provided a new home to 7,000 animals.
“We were honoured to be chosen for last year’s Christmas Appeal and the money raised by generous Telegraph readers has enabled us to help thousands of pets in need and support our other charitable activities, such as our education programmes and bereavement support service,” said Steve Goody, the deputy chief executive of the charity. “Pets change lives and with your help we have changed theirs.”
The Missing People Choir, formed of families and friends of people who have vanished without trace, as well as staff and volunteers from the charity, were finalists in Britain’s Got Talent this year