Micro-donations support children’s hospitals amid COVID-19

The Entertainer has been a Pennies retail partner for many years. Like many retailers across the world, they closed their doors during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the health of their staff and customers alike.
Matilda, a young patient at Birmingham Children's Hospital, which is supported by Pennies donations made at The Entertainer

Posted by Pennies

Published 23 July, 2020

The Entertainer has been a Pennies retail partner for many years. Like many retailers across the world, they closed their doors during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the health of their staff and customers alike.

With government restrictions lifting, The Entertainer has recently reopened its doors to the public. This means that they can now continue to raise funds for children’s hospital charities across the UK through customer micro-donations, made at the till with Pennies.  

Chip and Pin Entertainer
Pennies POS

Charities need these funds more than ever as they continue to struggle with the effects of COVID-19. The good news is, even while stores were closed, the toy shop’s charity partners were able to make use of the funds raised before lockdown at a time when their services were more vital than ever. 

We caught up with three of the children’s hospital charities supported by The Entertainer and Pennies to find out how they had been coping with the pandemic, and how your micro-donations have made a difference to date: 

Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

For the last nine years, The Entertainer and Pennies have had a treasured charity partnership with Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. During this time the partnership has enabled the hospital to do so much more – from helping increase understanding of illnesses through research, to improving family-friendly spaces to make their hospitals less daunting. 

Last year, the partnership hit an incredible milestone: £500,000 raised, all thanks to micro-donations. As well as offering phenomenal fundraising, the partnership has raised vital public awareness of the work of the hospital and charity across the region.  

 In May this year, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity recognised this fantastic relationship by awarding the teams at Pennies and The Entertainer the ‘Remarkable Partnership’ Award at their annual 100 Heroes Celebration for supporters and partners, this year held virtually, via video.

Customer support from shoppers at The Entertainer and Pennies has and will continue to have an enormous impact on the amazing work that happens at the hospital – from 2011, to COVID-19, and beyond.

Read the full story here.

Leeds Cares – the charity for Leeds Children’s Hospital

Leeds Cares is one of the newest charities to benefit from Pennies donations. All 15 of The Entertainer stores in Yorkshire and the Humber began supporting Leeds Cares – to directly support Leeds Children’s Hospital, in February 2020. Before stores had to close due to coronavirus, they had raised £2,662 through customers rounding up their purchases at the till in just six weeks. 

This money will be used to fund enhancements to the ward environment at the Children’s Hospital, including entertainment and arts & crafts for long-term patients.  Leeds Cares funds a team of nearly thirty play specialists at the hospital, who support the recovery of children through the power of play, and organises comedians, musicians, toys and games for poorly children too. 

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, Leeds Cares has also funded additional supplies for the play team as well as care packages of food & toiletries for parents who are having to isolate with their child.

“We’re extremely grateful to The Entertainer for choosing to support Leeds Children’s Hospital through Pennies. Pennies is a great way of people being able to support a charity through small donations that all add up to make a big difference to a local cause.”

Laura Webb, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Leeds Cares

Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital

Since 2011, The Entertainer has raised over £620,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity (GOSH Charity). As Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) moves from the initial challenges it faced at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, it now faces new ones. 

Money raised for the charity helps Great Ormond Street Hospital deliver the very best in life-changing care to children with rare and complex conditions. The need for this support does not change because of the COVID-19 crisis or as we move beyond – the work is more important than ever to ensure there is no longer term impact on the care provided to seriously ill children, once the crisis is over.

By taking the opportunity to round up your transactions when shopping at The Entertainer, you’re helping GOSH Charity to continue providing vital support to staff, patients and their families in this challenging time and beyond.  You can also read how your pennies have previously supported GOSH here.

A big thank you to all the hospital charities who shared their stories, and an even bigger thanks to every customer of The Entertainer who has ever rounded up a purchase with Pennies.  Your micro-donations really do matter. 

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Pennies’ Highlights from Retail Technology Show 2024
Pennies’ Highlights from Retail Technology Show 2024

The Retail Technology Show 2024, which took place last week at Olympia London, was an exciting event showcasing the latest innovations in retail technology. Over two days, the Pennies team proudly showcased our award-winning micro-donation solution and had the opportunity to connect with partners across the payments, retail, and hospitality sectors.