Sophie Ellis Bextor launches the IKEA Soft Toy campaign helping to raise 12million euro for children’s education worldwide
Music star and newly announced expectant mum Sophie Ellis Bextor greeted hundreds of excited children at the IKEA Wembley store before settling down to a very special storytelling session with this year's hero toy, BJÖRN the Bear (pictured). The day-long event also included a store wide teddy bear hunt, bear themed kids meals and face painting.
Speaking from the event, Sophie said " Everyone wants the best for their child, having a good start in life and access to a proper education can make such a difference and is something every child deserves. That's why I'm so proud to be involved in the IKEA Soft Toy campaign. The annual campaign aims to raise money for education projects across the world. The way you can help is really simple. From October 24th to December 23rd, for every IKEA Soft Toy, children’s book or kid’s meal you buy, the IKEA Foundation will donate one euro to education programmes worldwide supported by UNICEF and Save the Children… With Christmas fast approaching it's the perfect time to think about children, so when you're next in IKEA why not pop a Soft Toy in the trolley and know that not only are you making the children in your life happy, but you're also helping children all over the world get a better education"
At IKEA, we believe children are the most important people in the world. We want all children to have the right to simply be children – free to play, learn and develop, that’s why we work hard to give millions of children a better start in life. Together with IKEA customers, our Soft Toy Campaign works towards the belief that if you educate children, they can realise their full potential and eventually take charge of their own future.
“You buy a gift for a child you love, and you help educate a child you may never know,” notes IKEA Foundation CEO Per Heggenes. “It’s a chance to engage the 626 million annual visitors to IKEA stores worldwide, while expanding awareness among customers and co-workers of the power of education to transform children’s lives.”
Julie Weston, Director of Fundraising at UNICEF UK: “IKEA customers and co-workers who support the Soft Toy campaign have helped us to provide a quality education to children who are often the most disadvantaged in society - orphans, those living in extreme poverty, and girls. We know that no other investment makes such a lasting difference as the education of children.”
Save the Children UK’s Director of Fundraising, Tanya Steele commented, “To date, the IKEA Soft Toy Campaigns have given eight million children around the world the opportunity to receive a quality primary education. IKEA's support will continue to make a huge difference, giving children the chance to fulfil their potential. We are delighted to yet again be a part of this unique global initiative.”
Since 2003, IKEA has raised a total of 35.2 million euro, which has helped improve the lives of more than eight million children in 45 countries. This year’s goal, through the Soft Toy Campaign is to raise 12 million euro.
When you buy any IKEA soft toy, children’s book or kids meal €1 will be donated to UNICEF and Save the Children to help bring education to millions of children around the world.