Customers at The Entertainer toy shops across the UK have hit an incredible milestone of £3million raised for children’s charities across the country – simply by rounding up their purchases to the nearest pound using Pennies, the digital charity box.

Award winning fintech charity Pennies is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity collection tin, and gives customers the option to donate a few pence to charity when paying by card or digital wallet.

The Entertainer, the fastest growing, family owned high street toy retailer in the UK, first added Pennies to its tills in its high street stores in June 2011, with the help of payments partner Worldpay. Since then, shoppers have rounded up their purchases more than 6.7million times, raising an incredible £3million for a number of children’s charities, including nine of the country’s leading children’s hospitals.

Customer generosity has grown even greater since the introduction of a contactless option to donate in-store in 2018, which almost doubled the amount raised for charity each week. And in the six days of trading before Christmas 2018, The Entertainer raised a record £74,000 in consumer donations through Pennies.

Matilda, a beneficiary from Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity

 

Gary Grant, Founder and Executive Chairman of The Entertainer says:

We are so grateful to our customers for their generosity through Pennies at the till. The pennies donated have accumulated to a phenomenal amount of money since we introduced Pennies back in 2011 and have made a tremendous amount of difference to children’s charities all over the country. We cannot thank our customers enough for the impact their pennies have made.

Charities benefiting from these donations include Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, and Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity’s The Grand Appeal. The money raised to date has supported everything from the provision of life-saving medical equipment, to play therapy services to aid patient recovery and help families in need.

Alison Hutchinson CBE, Chief Executive of Pennies added:

The Entertainer’s customers should feel fantastic about what they are achieving. For example, every day, 619 children go to Great Ormond Street from right across the UK. Donations there are helping to fund ground-breaking research, advanced medical equipment, support services for children and their families, and the rebuilding and refurbishment of wards and medical facilities at the hospital. It may feel like pennies, but together they add up to extraordinary impact.

Our belief is that giving to charity should be simple, quick and make us feel good – and that’s what Pennies is all about. It is also entirely anonymous and no customer data is captured.

Pennies has enabled over an incredible 70 million small change digital donations to date through its digital charity box, raising £18 million in extra income for more than 400 charities, and growing. Someone currently gives via Pennies every two seconds.

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For more information please contact Rob Dyson, Head of Marketing and Communications at Pennies on 07813 091 970 / rob.dyson@pennies.org.uk

Notes to Editors

About Pennies

  • Pennies is a fintech charity (registered no. 1122489) launched in November 2010. It is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity box, designed to fit with our increasingly cashless lifestyles. Anyone can ‘feel-good’ give with participating Pennies retailers – by donating a few pence to charity when paying by card or digital wallet. It’s as simple as a single press of a button or click of a mouse.
  • Pennies estimates that if the UK’s card holders donated 30p once a month over £190M would be raised for charity every year.
  • Pennies is live across a breadth of 60+ retail, hospitality and service sector leaders across the UK, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland, including The Entertainer, Domino’s, Boots Opticians, Oasis Fashion, Screwfix, Hobbycraft, Topps Tiles, Virgin Holidays, Zizzi, The Entertainer, and Rontec and MFL roadside retail outlets.
  • The charity was recently highlighted in Harrington Starr’s Financial Technologist ‘175 global fintech influencers’ in 2019; the only charity on the list.

About The Entertainer

The Entertainer was founded in 1981 in Amersham, Buckinghamshire by husband and wife team, Gary and Catherine Grant, who instil the driving force and mission – “To be the best-loved toyshop – one child, one community at a time”. Today, it continues to be the largest family-owned chain of toy shops in the UK with a total of 166 stores.

As well as a strong High Street presence, The Entertainer has a successful website (TheToyShop.com) which offers a 30-minute click and collect service and has over 29 million visits annually. The Entertainer is also recognised for its charitable giving. Each year it tithes 10% of its pre-tax annual profit to charity, in addition employees are encouraged to donate directly through Payroll Giving. The Entertainer is also an active member of the Pennies scheme, the digital upgrade of the traditional charity collecting box, which enables customers to donate a few pence to charity at the point of sale when paying by card. On average, this generates £14,500 of customer donations to Children’s hospitals each week. The Entertainer currently employs 1,573 staff across the stores and a further 231 in the Head Office in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

The Entertainer was ranked 49th in the prestigious Sunday Times “100 Best Companies to work for” in 2019.
In December 2018 The Entertainer acquired POLY, a chain of 57 toy shops in Spain.

In February 2019 the Early Learning Centre was also acquired consisting of 80 concessions in the UK within Mothercare stores, plus 536 standalone franchise stores internationally.

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