Customers of toy shop chain The Entertainer have raised over £150,000 for charity in less than a year by donating their electronic ‘spare change’ half a million times. The donations, made through Pennies the electronic charity box, are already helping patients at four children’s hospitals.

The majority of the money raised by The Entertainer customers is shared equally between: 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 is shared amongst other UK charities.

The Entertainer was the first high street shop to enable the Pennies micro-donation scheme last July and saw customers embrace the scheme straight away. The generosity of The Entertainer’s customers is clear with nearly half of those given the option to donate choosing to do so.

Managing Director, Gary Grant, said: “People are inclined to be generous, and our customers have proved that by exceeding all expectations to raise this fantastic sum. It has been tremendous to see the donations come in so quickly and easily with the electronic charity box. More money was raised via Pennies in the first week than our traditional charity boxes would normally raise all year. In fact nearly 75 times more!”

The Entertainer is one of the largest independent retailers of toys in the UK with 69 stores across the nation and plans to open new branches throughout the year. Owners Gary and Catherine Grant’s experience in buying and selling toys since 1981 is key to the on-going growth of the company.

Christine Done, Head of Fundraising for the Imagine Appeal said, “The Pennies initiative is such a fantastic way to raise funds for the busiest children’s hospital in the UK; Alder Hey IMAGINE aims to give our young patients the best possible care and we are very grateful that The Entertainer has chosen to support our charity and for the generosity of their customers. It’s an amazing achievement how much they have raised in a year all from pennies!”

Alison Hutchinson, CEO of The Pennies Foundation, which created Pennies said: “We have always known that pennies are powerful and have been really excited to see how quickly The Entertainer’s customers have embraced Pennies. With more than half a million individual donations totalling £150,000 it truly demonstrates how quickly those pennies can add up to make a real difference to sick children’s lives. ”

Pennies is already available in nine other national retailers including Domino’s Pizza, Zizzi restaurants and Screwfix as well as a number of smaller merchants, and momentum is growing as more and more retailers switch on Pennies.

So far more than 2.3 million consumer donations have been received through Pennies, raising over £580,000 for more than 30 UK charities showing how pennies add up to make a meaningful difference.


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