In 2018 an idea do something “big” to represent Pudsey in the BBC Children in Need appeal, volunteers embarked on a mission that has now spanned five successful years.
Despite concerns about the diminishing use of cash, this year’s collection surpassed expectations.
The initiative, the brainchild of Cllr Simon Seary, involves distributing stickers throughout the year, encouraging Pudsey residents and beyond to save their 2 pence pieces for the BBC Children in Need cause.
The grand plan, once again, was to craft a colossal mosaic of Pudsey Bear using 2p coins on the floor of Pudsey Leisure Centre.
On November 16, the outline of Pudsey Bear was meticulously etched onto plastic sheeting generously provided by Farmac Building Supplies and transferred onto the Leisure Centre floor.
With the prospect of this being the final year of fundraising, the community rallied on Friday, November 17, as volunteers, including scouts, guides, care homes, pubs, cafes, child-minders, nurseries, schools, businesses, parents, and children, flocked to the Leisure Centre to contribute their coins.
In a delightful addition to the coin collection, Oh Hello Studio, led by artist Emily Will, offered pottery Pudsey Bears for on-site painting and takeaway. This initiative alone raised an impressive £664.60, and face-painting by Debbie Davies raised an impressive £75.00 contributing to the overall mosaic total of £3521.68.
With Pudsey Bear himself in attendance, Pudsey Leisure Centre provided a massive maze with hidden Pudsey Bears.
The most captivating entertainment, however, seemed to be the joyous act of rolling, skidding, or running hands through the coins—captivating kids and adults alike. The culmination of these efforts resulted in an astounding fundraising total of £4,209.35.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to the dedicated volunteers who assisted in counting the coins, Oh Hello Studio for their creative contribution, and Pudsey Leisure Centre’s manager, Dean, and staff for their exceptional support.
The local community deserves special appreciation for enthusiastically embracing this extraordinary challenge once again. For those who want to join in next year (of course we’re going to do it again,) it’s never too early to start collecting, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the Christmas Lights event on Sunday, December 3, from 3pm, where stickers for the 2p Challenge 2024 will be available.