ITV's Text Santa charity appeal launched today

Text Santa is launched today Photo:

Today is the launch of Text Santa, the Christmas charity appeal to raise funds, and make a difference to the quality of life for vulnerable people living in our communities.

Six charities have been chosen to benefit from this year's donations. They are Age UK, Barnardos, Clic Sargent, Beat Bullying, British Heart Foundation and Help The Hospices.

The charities in the 2013 appeal

Every penny we raise is divided between the charities, to provide practical support for people living in difficult circumstances.

The fund raising finale is on ITV on Friday 20th December, and will be presented by Ant and Dec, Phillip Schofield, Holly Willoughby, Christine Bleakley and Paddy McGuinness. They will be joined by the cast of Coronation Street and Emmerdale, and a host of 'mystery' guests.

People are encouraged to wear a hat to work that day and donate a pound for "Hattitude Day."

Here at ITV West Country, we'll be finding out about the work of some of the chosen charities. Tonight we look at just one of the ways money raised from last year's appeal, was spent.

Anthony Nolan matches people willing to donate their blood stem cells or bone marrow with others who desperately need transplants. Ten year old Issy Miller from Dorset had one a year ago.

Issy Miller from Dorset had a borne marrow transplant last year

Richard Payne went to see how Issy is getting on.