It's March and everybody in the UK knows this means Red Nose Day. For those who are not familiar with it, Red Nose Day is a biennial event (alternating each year with Sport Relief) run by Comic Relief, a charity that aims to raise money for to end poverty and social injustice all over the world through the use of comedy. Every other year, children all over the UK don red noses and silly clothes at school to raise money, and special televised programmes encourage viewers to donate as much money as possible.
Comic Relief have contributed to so many causes that it's difficult to sum them up concisely. As examples, in Africa alone, the money raised since 1988 has helped over 1 million children gain an education, 6 million have been protected from Malaria and 3 million affected by HIV have been supported. Closer to home, Comic Relief have helped fund the Time to Change campaign to end discrimination against those suffering from mental health issues and in 2003, helped set up the National Domestic Violence Helpline, which has received over 1.5 million calls.
Of course, despite all the great that has been achieved, there is still much to be done. This year alone, 2 million children will die of starvation unless they get help. Right now, 30 million children in Sub-Saharan Africa aged 6-11 are not in education and therefore their future prospects are limited. Comic Relief has helped half a million of the 1 in 4 people who will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives. To put this into perspective, every single one of you know somebody with a mental health problem- me. It's much more widespread than most realise. Furthermore, there are 800,000 people living with Dementia in the UK at this moment. Since 1988, over 60 projects helping those with Dementia have been supported and funded with donations to Comic Relief.
I hope to see you all sporting your red noses on 13th March!