Press Centre

ITV thanks viewers for Text Santa support of UK charities

Published: Sat 21 Dec 2013

ITV has said a big “thank you” to millions of viewers who watched last night’s three-hour Text Santa live extravaganza and took proceeds for this campaign to £4.2m.
In three years of fundraising, Text Santa has now raised £13.9m from ITV viewers. This year’s proceeds will directly benefit six UK-based charities.
The star-studded show was packed with surprises for audience and presenters, music performances, and emotional true-life films.
From the spectacular cavalcade Waterloo Bridge opening with Robbie Williams playing Santa on his travelling sleigh followed by 200 dancers, marching bands, fire eaters, stilt walkers, choirs and bell ringers to Ant & Dec’s 25 metre high Christmas Tree challenge and Gary Barlow’s live performance of  ‘We Like To Love’ a heart warming ballad plus Olly Murs performing  ‘White Christmas’  to McFly’s finale, of ‘Santa Claus is coming To Town’ it was a night to remember on ITV.  
The entertainment extravaganza was presented by Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield & Holly Willoughby and Christine Bleakley & Paddy McGuinness, who all got into the festive spirit with challenges of their own.
Other items in last night’s show included Prime Minister David Cameron interviewed by Little Ant & Dec; Cheryl Cole taking centre stage on Coronation Street; Emmerdale stars in a special Text Santa sketch; the cast of Coronation Street performing a special version of ‘Fairytale of Weatherfield”; a Take Me Out special; Big Reunion performing ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ and Robbie Williams singing the classic ‘Dream A Little Dream’.
Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television said: "A big thank you to everyone who took part and donated in their year's Text Santa.  Their money will make a big difference to this year's nominated charities."
All money generously donated by ITV viewers goes directly to the six charities – Age UK, Barnardo’s, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices. ITV directly funds all operating costs and 100% of donations get passed to the charities as soon as we receive it.  So by March your money is already helping to make a big difference.
Text Santa 2013 devoted more airtime than ever before to the work of the charities with more than six hours showcasing their great work across the UK. 
Major ITV programmes and stars were at the forefront of the fundraising and helping the public to be aware of the work of the charities.
Tonight’s Text Santa appeal show is the exciting culmination of a month long appeal.  Appeal partners for Text Santa are Morrisons, Santander and Vodafone.
Viewers can continue to donate until 10 January 2014 at 5pm via text; thanks to Text Santa partner Vodafone by using their JustTextGiving service, which ensures 100% of your donation goes directly to Text Santa and lets you add Gift Aid easily.  Vodafone operated the landline technology last night, and took calls if viewers want to donate by phone on 0300 200 8000.  Text Santa’s banking partner, Santander will be getting behind the appeal by taking donations in their 1,200 branches.  Donations can also be made online at To donate £5 text SANTA to 70070. 100% of donations raised will be distributed equally between the six charities.
** Texts cost £5.  Full details, charity numbers & terms can be found at, &  You should be 16+.  Please ask the bill payer’s permission.  Closes 10.01.14 at 5pm.
Text Santa what the charities say –
Tom Wright CBE, Group Chief Executive of Age UK, said:
“It’s fantastic to see such an overwhelming response to Text Santa. We are so grateful to everyone for getting involved and donating to the appeal.
“The money raised through Text Santa will enable Age UK to continue to offer vital services to help thousands of older people keep warm and well in the winter.”
Peter Brook, Barnardo’s Chief Executive said:
“We are absolutely delighted in how much ITV’s Text Santa Appeal has raised this year. It has been a fabulous night’s entertainment and we are really grateful to everyone that has supported the appeal. The incredible generosity that has been shown will ensure that Barnardo’s helps more families break out of the vicious cycle of poverty.”
Simon Gillespie, Chief Executive of the British Heart Foundation (BHF), comments: 
“Working with ITV on Text Santa has been amazing and has offered us a so many opportunities to highlight heart disease as the UK’s single biggest killer and what the BHF is doing to fight for every heartbeat.
“As well as raising awareness of heart disease generally, the appeal has also provided us with an incredible opportunity to showcase the invaluable support BHF nurses offer to both heart patients and their families – they really are lifelines in all communities.
“I thought the live show was fantastic on Friday. I really can’t thank ITV enough for giving us this opportunity - we have really enjoyed working with the great team at ITV and the other fantastic charities.”
Emma-Jane Cross, CEO and founder of BeatBullying said: 
"The Text Santa experience has been beyond amazing! The show itself brought together BeatBullying's staff, volunteers and friends and family for three hours of cheers, laughter and tears. But more importantly it allowed us to reach millions of new potential supporters and young people in need of our help. 
"All the hard work by ITV has enabled BeatBullying to make a huge step forwards in our aim to ensure that every child knows they have someone to turn to if they're being bullied.
"The money raised will allow us to empower even more young people to understand, recognise, and say no to bullying, violence and harassment. We'd like to say a massive thank you to everyone who donated, volunteered or took part in Text Santa. Your contributions will quite literally save lives."
Lorraine Clifton, Chief Executive of CLIC Sargent said:
“I want to say a heartfelt thank you to ITV and all the people who have taken part and given so generously to Text Santa to raise this fantastic amount. It will make a real difference in communities throughout the UK, enabling us to provide vital practical and emotional support to help children and young people, and their families, cope with the devastating impact of cancer and its treatment.”
CEO David Praill said:
“We are absolutely delighted with the generous amount of donations raised as a result of the Text Santa appeal.  Our story shown on the night has powerfully highlighted the value of hospice care and how it can touch the life of not only someone affected by terminal illness but their family too. The funds raised from this appeal will enable our member hospices to continue to provide vital care for terminally ill patients and their families, as well as boosting our national programme of work to support hospices.”
Notes to Editors:
Overview of 2013 charities:
Age UK
Age UK has been selected again, having been one of the 2012 beneficiaries of Text Santa. Age UK helps millions of people every year. No one should have to spend later life cold, lonely or in poverty – so Age UK provides vital information, advice and practical services to end needless suffering for older people.
Barnardo’s works with more than 200,000 children, young people and their families each year, through over 900 community projects across the UK. They work to transform the lives of the UK’s most vulnerable children and every year they help thousands of families to build a better future.
In the current economic climate, there is an increasing demand for their services and the funds raised by Text Santa will support the most vulnerable children in the UK this Christmas, turning their lives around and helping them face the future with hope and confidence.
BeatBullying is a bullying prevention charity, campaigning to make bullying unacceptable and providing support for children and young people affected by bullying. 
They empower young people to mentor each other, in their communities and online and give them the support of specialist adult advisers and counsellors. They also provide support for parents and professionals working with young people, helping them to develop strategies to prevent bullying. 
British Heart Foundation 
Coronary heart disease is the UK’s single biggest killer. For over 50 years the British Heart Foundation has pioneered research that’s transformed the lives of people living with heart and circulatory conditions. But so many people still need help. Over 2 million people in the UK struggle with the devastating effects of heart disease.  It can be painful, frightening and lonely.  The British Heart Foundation fund nurses who offer invaluable medical and emotional support to heart patients and their families, enabling many to manage their condition at home, improve their confidence and maintain their independence.
CLIC Sargent 
Every day, 10 children and young people in the UK hear the shocking news they have cancer. Treatment normally starts immediately, is often given many miles from home and can last for up to three years. 
CLIC Sargent is the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, and their families. They provide clinical, practical, financial and emotional support to help them cope with cancer and get the most out of life. They are there from diagnosis onwards and aim to help the whole family deal with the impact of cancer and its treatment, life after treatment and, in some cases, bereavement. 
Help the Hospices
Help the Hospices champions and supports the work of over 200 hospices across the UK. Hospices provide vital care for people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses and their families, helping them to live well for the time they have left together.
Demand for hospice care is rapidly increasing due to more people living for longer with more complex health conditions. Help the Hospices supports hospices to meet these challenges so they can continue to provide the highest quality care possible.
Text Santa Background
Text Santa is an important part of ITV's Corporate Responsibility programme, using its reach to millions of people to help inspire, engage and empower viewers to make a difference. The organisation does not make any profit from the appeal and is proud that, with investment from ITV and support from Text Santa's partners and supporters, 100% of donations made by viewers go directly to the charities Text Santa supports.  Text Santa does not invest any of the money raised.
ITV's corporate responsibility campaigns use the combined influence of our programmes, online platforms and celebrity talent, to highlight causes and make a difference.
Collectively our campaigns in 2012 resulted in over £10.5 million being raised for various charities such as Unicef (Soccer Aid), Malaria No More (I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here!) and many others locally, all thanks to the engagement and generosity of ITV viewers.
The highlight for ITV is Text Santa, raising over £5.5 million for six UK charities last year, including Age UK, Anthony Nolan, Carers UK, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Together for Short Lives and Whizz-Kidz. 
The chosen charities, whose work was highlighted on the ITV primetime show, reported impacts such as a 1000% increase in shop revenue and increased demand for online services in January 2013, compared to the same period last year.  
Text Santa raised enough money for over 180,000 older people to receive support from Age UK. The Charity offers services that help tackle loneliness and isolation. Services range from befriending calls and visits, to information and advice and practical services such as transportation, social activities and lunch clubs.   
In the case of Anthony Nolan, the money raised by Text Santa paid for over 9,000 people to join the stem cell register. 9,000 potential lifesavers, who will stay on the register for years to come and may, at any time, be the lifesaving donor for a patient with blood cancer.
This year Carers UK used the funds raised from Text Santa to help 120,000 carers over the next 3 years to extend their Adviceline opening hours offering information and advice from expert advisors and emotional support for carers.
The donations raised for Together For Short Lives were distributed across 49 independent Children's Hospices in the UK ensuring families were able to make the most of their precious time together. Each hospice received enough to pay for a care assistant for a whole year.
In the case of Marie Curie Cancer Care, they were able to provide significantly more nursing care to terminally ill people in their own homes and emotional support for their families. The funds raised by Text Santa made it possible for Marie Curie Nurses to provide over 43,500 hours of hands-on care to patients
With support from Text Santa, Whizz-Kidz transformed the lives of over 200 young disabled people by providing the most appropriate mobility equipment for their young lives, ensuring full and active childhoods and opportunities for a bright future
For more information and individual case studies from 2012 visit
JustTextGiving by Vodafone is the UK’s first free text donation service.  There is no charge for the text to donate, 100% of the donation goes to Text Santa and Gift Aid can easily be added. The donation comes out of the donor’s calling credit or is added to the monthly bill. JustTextGiving by Vodafone is supported by the Vodafone Foundation, registered charity 1089625