What BBC Children in Need means to Kangaroos

For over half a century BBC Children in Need has been raising money for disadvantaged young people in the UK. The charity arm of the BBC is well known for its annual telethon, with many celebrities taking part in the televised appeal each November, but the organisation also raises money throughout the year.

BBC Children in Need supports over 3,900 local charities and projects in communities across the UK that are helping children and young people facing a range of disadvantages such as living in poverty, being disabled or ill, or experiencing distress, neglect or trauma. 

What does BBC Children in Need mean to Kangaroos?

Kangaroos is one of the charities supported by Children in Need. The funding stream is a lifeline to Kangaroos, enabling the charity to run STARS, our group providing weekend and holiday sessions for children and young people with complex physical disabilities. Our STARS members are all wheelchair users with disabilities including epilepsy, Cerebral Palsy, visual and hearing impairments, gastrostomy feeds, catheterisation and complex feeding needs.

STARS offers an extremely safe and structured environment with activities tailored to each individual’s complex needs. The sessions are carefully planned and utilise specialist equipment to enhance the experience of the young people. We make it our mission to push boundaries and enable our young people with complex needs to enjoy trips and activities outside of their usual experience.

Children in Need also helps to fund our TeenScene club, a youth group which enables teenagers with learning disabilities to enjoy fun, friendship and recreational activities just like any other teenager in a safe setting. Our TeenScene youth club is carefully planned to help members to grow in confidence, bond with each other and to help individual personalities shine. The club is a lifeline to teenagers with learning disabilities who have no other social clubs available to them.

Here’s some of the feedback we received in a survey recently sent to STARS families:

A is very sociable and likes to be around people of all ages. Kangaroos enables him to mix with children of similar disabilities as well as different disabilities. He is among families who understand his world and who don’t stare or ask pointless questions. He is accepted for who he is and people talk to him not over him.”

To have the knowledge that you are leaving your child with another person who is capable of caring for your child with complex medical needs is, as a parent, invaluable.”

About Children in Need

Children in Need funds local charities and projects that help remove the barriers facing children and young people, so they can thrive and reach their potential. 

Children in Need began life as a radio appeal on Christmas day in 1927. In 1955, Children in Need launched its first televised appeal  – presented by Sooty and Harry Corbett! The late Sir Terry Wogan made his first appearance on Children in Need in 1978 and began hosting the show in 1980, becoming a household name associated with the annual appeal. Pudsey the Bear was introduced as a mascot in 1985 and despite a couple of makeovers is still going strong as a much-loved emblem of the Children in Need brand.

Other Children in Need milestones include The One Show Rickshaw Challenge introduced in 2011, Gareth Malone’s All Star Choir in 2014 and Countryfile’s Ramble in 2015.

Our gratitude

We are hugely grateful to Children in Need who support our vision that young people with learning disabilities can exercise their right to leisure, play and recreational activity in a safe supported environment where all members are treated as individuals.

Children in Need run six grant rounds throughout the year and accept applications year-round. Their teams carefully assess these applications to ensure that grants will make a real difference to the lives of disadvantaged children and young people across the UK.

At Kangaroos we empower young people with learning disabilities to experience life just like any other young person. We thank Children in Need from the bottom of our hearts for recognising the value we bring to our members and their families.

We are on TV!

This year the BBC have filmed one of our clubs in action and interviewed staff and parents to illustrate just how valuable Kangaroos is to our community. Catch us on BBC SouthEast on Friday 15th November at 6.30pm.

Without BBC Children in Need many vulnerable young people wouldn’t get the help and support they need.