Cookstown shop encourages child’s-play for charity

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THE Cookstown branch of the Save the Children is encouraging lots of child’s-play to raise money for charity.

It’s all part of IKEA’s Soft Toys for Education Campaign.

The Holywood Exchange retailer has established links with the Cookstown charity shop so customers can help fundraising reach further with a ‘give twice’ message, meaning local children will also benefit.

The IKEA Foundation’s Soft Toys for Education Campaign means that for every soft toy or book bought at the store in Northern Ireland until 23 December 2012, €1 will be donated to UNICEF and Save the Children to support worldwide education platforms for children in Madagascar, IKEA Belfast’s project for this year’s campaign.

Supporting this key activity, customers are also being encouraged to give twice by donating their old cuddly toys to their local Save the Children stores, including the Cookstown branch, where they will be given a voucher to spend on Soft Toys in IKEA, which means they can purchase a brand new toy and help children that need it locally, as well as globally. Customers can also donate old soft toys in store at IKEA.

Speaking about the joint charity initiative Nigel McGarry, Sustainability Leader at IKEA Belfast said: “This year, new soft toys have been added to the collection to support 2012’s campaign, including the KLAPPAR CIRKUS Range (from £1) which includes a weight-lifting tiger, a clown dog and a puppet snake.

“Reading is also a great way to stimulate creativity amongst play, so kids will love to read about the adventures of the VANDRING Hedgehog in ‘The Hedgehog Leaves Home’ book, and the ‘Heroes of the Vegetable Patch’ which when bought, €1 will be donated to the campaign by IKEA,” said Nigel.

From 17 – 24 November at IKEA Belfast, kids can eat free all week when an adult meal is purchased, and on Saturday 17 and Saturday 24 November, the store will encourage creative play and has teamed up with NI4Kids to offer activities such as storytelling, face painting, balloon modelling, treasure hunts and mask making workshops.

Children can also enter the Soft Toy Campaign’s Colouring Competition at Smäland to draw their ultimate soft toy, and be in with a chance to win a £500 gift card to make over an area of their school and have their work displayed in store.

The IKEA Foundation’s Soft Toys for Education Campaign has been helping worldwide educational projects for children since 2003, and has raised over €47.5 million as a result.

Over 70 projects are supported in nearly 40 countries and so far, the campaign has helped more than 8 million children receive a better education.

In Madagascar, where children will benefit from IKEA Belfast’s fundraising, seven out of ten people live below the poverty line of one dollar per day. Despite this, parents are eager to send their children to school, however some teachers do not have the proper training but with donations from the Soft Toy Campaign, UNICEF can provide training to teachers and more books for each child to receive their right to a proper education.

Full details on IKEA Belfast’s Soft Toys for Education Campaign activity can be found at www.ikea.co.uk/belfast.