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Thank you!
[National]  UNICEF and Save the Children thank IKEA customers for their help raising €12.4 million for children across the world.
IKEA can today reveal that thanks to the hard work of IKEA customers and co-workers up and down the country, a total of €12.4 million has been raised for the annual Soft Toy Campaign beating the target of €12 million by an extra €400,000. The money raised will be donated to UNICEF and Save the Children to support children’s education programmes all over the world.

Teddy bears came out to play in IKEA stores across the UK during November and December, as the annual Soft Toy Campaign saw celebrities, local heroes and customers participating in a variety of money raising teddy bear themed adventures.

At IKEA Wembley celebrity mum Sophie Ellis Bextor took part in a special book reading and teddy bear’s picnic to help launch the campaign and when customers purchased any soft toy, kids meal and children’s book between October 24th and December 23rd, the IKEA Foundation donated €1 to UNICEF and Save The Children helping touch the lives of thousands of children all over the world.

In order to meet this year’s target of €12 million, a second set of activity took place where customers had the chance to be involved in the instore ‘Give Twice’ incentive, helping donate IKEA soft toys to local children’s charities. By purchasing any soft toy in store, IKEA customers were able to donate 9,835 toys and 13,904 books to local charities all over the UK.

The funding from the Soft Toy campaign, managed by the IKEA Foundation has raised a total of €47.5 million since it began in 2003, which has helped improve the lives of more than eight million children in 45 countries. Thanks to this years donation, UNICEF and Save the Children will implement 18 projects in 16 countries: UNICEF’s share will go to Schools for Africa projects in seven countries and two projects in Russia and China; and Save the Children’s share will support education for children of the most marginalised groups (minorities and children with disabilities) in Asia (Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines) and Eastern Europe (Lithuania and Romania).

The donations will help UNICEF and Save the Children train teachers in child-friendly teaching methods, supply educational materials like pencils, books, bags, rebuild schools and provide better water and toilet facilities, and increase school attendance rates.

Tanya Steele, Save the Children’s Director of Fundraising said, “Thank you to IKEA and all their customers who supported the amazing Soft Toy Campaign again this year. To raise €12.4 million is an incredible achievement; it will enable millions of children around the world to enjoy a quality education and have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. We are very proud to partner with an organisation that is so committed to improving the lives of children.”

Julie Weston, Director of Fundraising at UNICEF UK says; “A big thank you to everyone who supported the IKEA Soft Toy Campaign. As the leading children’s organisation, UNICEF will make sure that all money raised will be used to make sure that many more of the world’s most vulnerable children get to go to school. This is so important for every child’s development and is one of the best investments we can make in children. Because of you, this money will help to change their lives forever so thank you.”

“Our appreciation and gratitude go to IKEA co-workers and customers worldwide for making the 2011 Soft Toys for Education campaign such a success. Thanks to you, 5.5 million children in Africa will receive a better education. For more than ten years the IKEA Foundation has promoted children’s rights by supporting UNICEF’s work and the results achieved for children make us very proud of this partnership," said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships.
For more information please contact:
IKEASarah ManktelowE-mail: sarahm@cakegroup.com

Save the Children Ella Brock E-mail: E.Brock@savethechildren.org.uk

UNICEF Rowena CampbellE-mail: Rowenac@unicef.org.uk
More information:
About the IKEA Foundation
The IKEA Foundation aims to improve the opportunities for children and youth by funding holistic, long-term programmes that can create substantial, lasting change, and enable them to take charge of their own future. We work with strong strategic partners applying innovative approaches to achieve large-scale results in four fundamental areas of a child’s life. Currently funded programmes benefit an estimated 100 million children. Learn more at www.ikeafoundation.org

About IKEA
IKEA is a home furnishings company with Swedish origins founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad. The IKEA vision is to ‘create a better everyday life for the many people.’ The business idea is to offer a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishings at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them. IKEA has a total of 320 stores in 38 countries/territories, of which 37 stores are owned and run by franchisees outside the IKEA Group. The IKEA Group stores welcomed a total of 626 million visitors last year. Please visit www.ikea.com

About Save the ChildrenSave the Children is the world’s leading independent organisation for children. 29 national organisations are working together to deliver programmes in more than 120 countries around the world Save the Children’s vision is a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation. Save the Children’s mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. For more information, please visit www.savethechildren.net

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk.

100 million.

Estimated number of children the IKEA social projects in partnership with UNICEF, UNDP and Save the Children will have benefited by the end of 2015.

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