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Christmas at BBC Children in Need

Life-changing support at Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, we got back in touch with projects and families you met on this year’s big BBC Children in Need show to find out how your donations are continuing to make a huge difference right now. Grab a festive hot chocolate, scroll down and explore their amazing stories below.

Erin and Team Jak

Erin’s cancer treatment made Covid-19 isolation hard. Thankfully, Team Jak’s activities for children living with cancer were there to help, supporting her on the road to recovery, despite the restrictions of the pandemic.

When Erin was asked about her plans for Christmas, she told us she is going to "have fun!" She wants to sing songs, enjoy opening advent calendars and watch Christmas films. She will, of course, be going to the Christmas party at Team Jak!

Over Christmas, Team Jak will be providing lots of fun activities online and in-person, with crafts, games, a Christmas party and a family quiz! Their much-needed 24/7 phone service will also be running as usual, supporting families who are in crisis, or who just need someone to talk to. They'll also be providing support for children in hospitals, with Christmas trees, advent calendars and crafts.

“As a family, we'd like to thank everyone for supporting charities like Team Jak and helping Team Jak provide special moments such as the Christmas party. We hope everyone's Christmas has a bit of sparkle this year.”

Erin's family
Christmas at BBC Children in Need

Neil and 21 Together

When Neil’s diagnosis with Down Syndrome made school-life tough, 21 Together helped him find a way to learn what works for him and his fellow pupils. Now he’s flying high.


21 Together are looking forward to getting their decorations out and seeing all the Christmas jumpers!

Christmas is a busy time for the project, preparing speech and language and social communication sessions for the children and young people attending groups.

“This Christmas I will have lots of fun. I will have a bunk bed with my own desk and my computer on it. Thank you for helping Children in Need. I want children with Down Syndrome to study like me.”

Christmas at BBC Children in Need

Sam and Stars Bereavement Support Services

When Sam’s dad, Tim, died suddenly in hospital after contracting Covid-19, Stars Bereavement Counsellor, Ann-Marie, helped Sam and his siblings to grieve.

The vital work of Stars is incredibly important all year-round, but especially over the festive season.

Most children don’t have to deal with the loss of a parent or other loved one, but this can happen at any time, including at Christmas. As the festivities continue, Stars will be there to provide vital bereavement support for families who need it.

“Funding from Children in Need is vital to our ongoing support for bereaved children and young people. Thank you so much to all of you who have donated and fundraised for Children in Need and, in so doing have shown your compassion and care for our clients.”

Dr Stephen Davies, Executive Director, Stars Bereavement Support Services
Christmas at BBC Children in Need

Dave and Tŷ Hafan

Dave’s deteriorating heart condition really does scare him. Tŷ Hafan and BBC Children in Need funded play specialist, Anna helps him cope with fear and find reasons to smile.

For families supported by Tŷ Hafan, Christmas is often a festivity tainted with sadness, either due to a lost loved one, or the fear that this may be the last Christmas they get to spend with their child or sibling.

Over the Christmas period, one-to-one therapy will continue alongside many events which allow the families a safe space to have these feelings. They may be building memories at a staff panto, coming to reflect in the gardens at the festival of light, or attending the candlelight service to remember a loved one lost. Their therapists are on-hand to guide and support if required and families are able to make special memories to take away and cherish.

"This Christmas we will be counting our blessings that we get to be at home all together," says Dave's mum, Kerry.

"That is something I don’t think we will ever take for granted after we spent Dave’s first Christmas in the hospital. As much as it is only one day, it's a day of togetherness for us and one that is always remembered for that reason. I'm not saying there won't be some questionable cooking going on or a tantrum or two, but we will all be under one roof which is the best gift of all."

“We would like to thank all of you who have taken the time and effort to donate and fundraise for Children in Need, which in turn continues to support and fund projects like our Therapy Project. This allows us to continue to support Life Limited children and their families to build new memories, carry on old memories, and deal with the moment!”

Christmas at BBC Children in Need

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