Christmas has come early for the charity partners of The Entertainer as the number of customers donating their electronic ‘spare change’ this month multiplies by 7 times.  These extra donations have helped bring the total amount raised by customers to more than £250,000.

The donations, made through Pennies the electronic charity box, have been adding up, with an average donation of 30p, since last summer.  This was when the chain first gave customers the opportunity to round up their purchases to the nearest pound when paying by card.  The Christmas spirit looks to have helped accelerate funds with weekly totals jumping from an average of £2,000, right up to nearly £15,000 last week.  That is expected to rise even higher before Christmas.

The majority of the money raised by The Entertainer is shared equally between four children’s hospitals: Liverpool’s Alder Hey Imagine Appeal; Birmingham Children’s Hospital; Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal which fundraises for Bristol Children’s Hospital; and Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity.  The remainder will be divided between other UK charities.

The Entertainer was the first high street shop to enable the micro-donation scheme. The generosity of The Entertainer customers is clear with nearly half of those who could donate in December choosing to.  Managing Director, Gary Grant, said: “People are inclined to be generous, and we have seen them display this generosity since the launch of the partnership with Pennies.  It has been incredible to see the donations add up to make a difference.  Our traditional charity boxes would generate less than £2,000 a year so it has been tremendous to see the donations come in so quickly and easily with the electronic charity box.”

The Entertainer is one of the largest retailers of toys in the UK with 78 stores across the nation and plans to open a further 12 in 2013.

Sarah Vipond, corporate partnerships manager at Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal said; “This is a tremendous achievement and a great boost to charity funds at a time of year when people have a lot of other expenses.  We want to thank all the Entertainer customers who continue to give so generously to help sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, commented: “It has been inspiring to see the speed in which the donations have flooded in during December.  Customers of The Entertainer have always been generous, but they are even more so during the festive season. This is wonderful because those Pennies really add up and are already making a difference at the four children’s hospitals.”

Pennies is available with a number of other retailers including national chains Domino’s Pizza, Travelodge, Monarch Airlines, The Fragrance Shop and DFS.  So far, more than 3.6 consumer donations have been received through Pennies, and the charity is on track to raise £1 million around the end of the year, benefiting 50 UK charities.




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