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The Time of Year to Help Those Near – Here Comes Text Santa!

Published: Fri 26 Sep 2014

The Time of Year to Help Those Near – Here Comes Text Santa!
Alesha Dixon joins the presenter line-up of ITV’s Text Santa for the first time this year, it was announced today.
The singer and Britain’s Got Talent judge partners Paddy McGuinness for one hour of the charity appeal extravaganza on Friday 19 December.
Ant & Dec, Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley also present a Text Santa that's bigger than ever, with chart-topping live music performances and some of the biggest names in show business.  Amongst some of the treats lined up, George Clooney takes part in a specially-written scene of Downton Abbey; The Cube has a unique Text Santa twist and the stars of Coronation Street perform as we’ve never seen them before. Throughout - as this is the time of year to help those near - there’ll also be moving true-life charity films from the chosen charities.  Text Santa 2014 promises three hours of non-stop entertainment, full to the brim of surprises.  
The show raises money and awareness for six UK-based charities in the run-up to the big night.  This year’s chosen charities are Teenage Cancer Trust, Guide Dogs, WellChild, Marie Curie Cancer Care, Alzheimer’s Society and Together for Short Lives.
The appeal has raised £15 million for charities since it started in 2011.  All funds raised for Text Santa will be distributed equally between the six charities.  
Alesha  said: “I'm really excited to be joining the Text Santa team. It's a great show that does fantastic work for people we all know; as the slogan says: ‘It's The Time of Year to Help Those Near’, so I hope everyone digs deep and joins in the fun with me and the rest of the gang on Friday December 19." 
Peter Fincham, ITV Director of Television said: “Text Santa is now in its fourth year and not only is it getting bigger and better all the time, but we even have a touch of Hollywood glamour this year helping us raise awareness of crucial charity work in our communities. We're delighted that Morrisons and Vodafone are once again supporting us to highlight the outstanding contribution of the six very deserving charities."
It’s the fourth year of the show and supporting Text Santa for 2014 are Morrisons, Vodafone, and The Hut.
Viewers can donate, please visit
Notes to Editors
Overview of 2014 charities:
Teenage Cancer Trust
Teenage Cancer Trust is dedicated to improving the quality of life and chances of survival for the seven young people aged 13 to 24 diagnosed with cancer every day. Teenage Cancer Trust funds and builds specialist wards in hospitals and provides dedicated staff, bringing young people together so they can be treated by teenage cancer experts in the best place for them.  Teenage Cancer Trust wants every young person with cancer to have access to this specialist support, no matter where they live.
Traditionally treated alongside children or elderly patients at the end of their lives, young people can feel extremely isolated, some never meeting another young person with cancer.  Being treated alongside others their own age can make a huge difference to their whole experience. 
Guide Dogs
Every hour another person in the UK loses their sight, when this happens Guide Dogs is there to make sure they don't lose their freedom as well.
Guide Dogs’ amazing partnerships are changing lives every day.  Through the guide dogs service, buddy dogs and My Guide volunteer sighted guides, every moment of the day Guide Dogs is enabling people with sight loss get to where they want to be in life.
There are thousands of children and young people in the UK living with a long-term or complex health condition.
WellChild is the national charity working to ensure the best possible care and support for all these children and their families wherever they are and whenever they need it.
They aim to help children out of long-term hospital care, and into their own homes through the care and attention of their UK-wide team of WellChild Nurses who provide practical and emotional support.  They give these families the tools and support they need to deal with their child’s illness both in the hospital and back at home once they've returned.
Marie Curie Cancer Care
Marie Curie, a returning charity from 2012, provides free care to people with any terminal illness in their own homes and it's nine hospices. 
The Marie Curie Helper Service is provided by specially trained volunteers who offer people with any terminal illness and their carers invaluable companionship, emotional support and practical help, completely free of charge.  For up to three hours each week, people with a serious illness and their families can rely on the support of a dedicated Helper volunteer who will visit them in their home.  The Helper Service is not currently available in all areas of the UK but with the help of all the money raised from ITV Text Santa, the charity will expand this service by rolling it out to more communities across the UK. 
Alzheimer’s Society
By 2015, there will be 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK.  There is no cure but with the right support it is possible to live well with the condition.
Alzheimer's Society staff and volunteers provide over 2,000 services for people affected by dementia in our communities. These range from Dementia Support Workers, providing practical advice from diagnosis onwards, to social activities like ‘Singing for the brain’, which enables people with dementia to express themselves and sing with others in a similar situation.
Alzheimer’s Society improves the lives of people with dementia and their carers by helping them remain part of their community for longer.
Together for Short Lives
A returning charity from 2012, Together for Short Lives is the leading charity for the UK’s 49,000 children and young people with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions and all those who help, love and care for them.  Together for Short Lives works with the UK’s 53 children’s hospice services and a range of other organisations so that every child, young person and their family has the best possible care and support whenever and wherever they need it. 
Children’s hospices are all charities and rely on donations to fund the round-the-clock care given to children and their families.  The money raised during Text Santa will make a huge difference to local children’s hospice services, helping them to deliver vital care and support to families across the UK. From the moment of diagnosis, for whatever life holds, Together for Short Lives helps to ensure families make the most of their precious time together.
Text Santa Background
ITV's corporate responsibility campaigns use the combined influence of our programmes, online platforms and celebrity talent, to highlight causes and make a difference. The highlight for ITV is Text Santa, which last year raised over £5.1 million for six UK charities. The charities were: Age UK, Barnardo’s, BeatBullying, British Heart Foundation, CLIC Sargent and Help the Hospices. To date Text Santa has raised £15 million for 18 UK Charities since 2011. 
All money generously donated by ITV viewers goes directly to the six charities. ITV directly funds all operating costs and 100% of donations get passed to the charities as soon as we receive it.  So by March 2015 your money is already helping to make a big difference.
The chosen charities, whose work was highlighted on the ITV primetime show, reported impacts such as a 2300% increase in volunteering, 3.5 million social media impressions on the night of the appeal show, and a 476% increase in traffic on websites/social media compared to the same period last year. 
Text Santa 2013
ITV Text Santa funding enabled Age UK to run handyperson services through its network of local Age UKs. This invaluable local service assists with small repairs in the home, energy efficiency checks, draught proofing and snow clearance helping older people to keep warm and well in winter.
Barnardo’s gave 9,200 children throughout the UK a hot nutritious meal at their Children and Family centres and 1,200 families were provided with emergency clothes, provisions and grants helping them to get through the winter months.
2,500 young people have been trained to become BeatBullying Mentors, enabling them to help and support their peers with any bullying issues.
Text Santa has helped the British Heart Foundation recruit nine specialist nurses across the UK, aiming to help identify and support over 3000 people with the genetic heart condition Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH).
CLIC Sargent were able to provide around 3,000 hours of support for children, young people and their families, helping them cope with the impact of cancer treatment. Already over 60 families have been able to stay together for two weeks in one of CLIC Sargent’s Homes from Home, which is free accommodation for families to stay close to where their loved one is being treated.
Text Santa funded an incredible 19,761 hours of care in hospices across the UK. The money raised was split amongst Help the Hospices 219 member hospices throughout the UK. The money has also supported Help the Hospices work such as a Child Bereavement course, training volunteers to support children coming to terms with the loss of a loved one.
Text Santa 2012
In 2012, Age UK raised enough money for over 180,000 older people to receive support  - In the case of Anthony Nolan, the money raised by Text Santa paid for over 9,000 people to join the stem cell register. Carers UK used the funds raised from Text Santa to help 120,000 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.  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.
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