Heart FM's Zoe Hardman joined Casualty actors Jason Durr, George Rainsford and Michael Stevenson at the launch of Spin Master's 2018 Charity Advent Calendar at KidZania London last week.
Teaming up with Kidzania for the second year, Spin Master's advent calendar has gone "bigger and better than before" as the team - known for ranges like Hatchimals and The Sock Game - aims to spread festive joy to UK children.
Every day until Christmas, one lucky child who visits the city will get to open a door on the calendar, which stands pride of place in KidZania’s airport. Each of the 24 doors is set to reveal a new charity each day, as well as revealing an instant prize for child who gets to open it.
This year’s Spin Master Advent launch was awash with festivities, helping visitors to get into the festive spirit, including the host of celebrities who turned up to help donate toys.
This year, the advent calendar is linked to a series of UK charities many of which have been nominated by celebrities. Each day, when the door is opened, £1,000 worth of toys will be given to a different charity - a donation totalling £25,000 throughout December – helping to spread the festive joy to children and families in need this Christmas.
ITN newsreader Mary Nightingale, who could not be at the launch but nominated The Rainbow Trust to receive some toys said: “When I was invited to nominate a charity to receive a bundle of toys for Christmas, I immediately thought of The Rainbow Trust.
"Its practical care and support of families going through difficult times looking after very poorly children is invaluable and I am sure these toys will help bring a little extra joy to many of the families the charity is supporting this Christmas”.
Casualty’s Jason Durr, supporting WellChild said: “Our families have had a wonderful time here at KidZania this morning but most importantly it’s been amazing meeting so many people from the array of wonderful charities who work tirelessly all year giving support to those who are in need of help.
"We are thrilled to have been able to do our little bit for WellChild who offer nursing services to families caring for seriously ill children.”
TV presenter Nigel Clarke, nominating charity Together for Short Lives, and who also acted as MC for the launch said: “It’s been a magical morning with so many people coming together to help bring a little extra cheer this Christmas.”
Other celebrity supporters who could not be at the event, but have nominated a charity include Guy Martin and Imogen Thomas.
Finally, a group of 12 young YouTuber families have also joined forces by making a video of the 12 Days of Vlogmas which features a host of the toys being donated to each charity.
The effort has been in support of The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal and the video can be viewed HERE
The Charities who will benefit from receiving a share of the toys include: Rays of Sunshine, The Indee Rose Trust, WellChild (Jason Durr), The Vipingo Village Trust (Zoe Hardman) KidScape (George Rainsford), Together for Short Lives, (CBBC presenter Nigel Clarke), Cash for Kids (Michael Stevenson), Action for Children (Guy Martin), Shooting Star Chase, The Thames Valley Adventure Playground, Kid’s Out, The Grand Appeal for Bristol Children’s Hospital, Child Bereavement UK, The Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice, The Salvation Army (The YuleTubers), Spread a Smile, Kids Out, The Bromley and Croydon Women’s Refuge, PWSA, Global’s Make Some Noise, Action for Children, The Felix Project, DSA-UK, and The Dolphin Children’s Ward at the Princess Alexander Hospital (Rosie McClelland).