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Sophie ellis bextor launches the IKEA soft toy campaign helping to raise 12million euro for children’s education worldwide

Sophie ellis bextor launches the IKEA soft toy campaign helping to raise 12million euro for children’s education worldwide

Sophie Ellis-Bextor reads stories to Children at IKEA Wembley
For every soft toy, kids meal and book purchased in stores between October 24th and December 23rd, the IKEA Foundation will donate €1 to UNICEF and Save The Children to support Children’s education programmes throughout the world.
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.

Read more about the Soft Toy campaign

For further information, samples, case studies or hi res images please contact
IKEA UK – IKEA Press Office on 020 7307
UNICEF UK – Gemma Parkin, Media Relations on 020 7312 6077 or via email, Press Line: 020 7336 8922

Save the Children UK – Jo Campbell, Media officer on 020 7012 6841or via email

Notes to editors

About IKEA’s Soft Toy Campaign

•Since 2003, the partnership between IKEA, UNICEF and Save the Children through the Soft Toy Campaign has raised over €35.2 million globally, which has helped improve the lives of more than eight million children in 45 countries. This year’s goal is €12 million•The donation of €1 will be given for EVERY soft toy bought, irrespective of the purchase price or how many are bought in one transaction. E.g. For a customer purchasing 6 soft toys at 39p - IKEA will donate €6•All IKEA UK & Ireland stores will participate in this campaign including Warrington, Gateshead, Birmingham, Lakeside, Leeds, Nottingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cardiff, Manchester, Tottenham, Milton Keynes, Belfast, Coventry, Bristol, Croydon, Wembley, Southampton and Dublin

Save the Children

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children's lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfil their potential. For further information about our work please visit


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. For more information, please visit