Red Nose Day is back on Friday to give us all some much-needed Comic Relief.
Sir Lenny Henry will host Red Nose Day TV this year as comedians, sports stars and actors come together for a night of laughs.
But the real stars of the show – now in its 36th year – are the fundraisers, who Sir Lenny believes are “the heart and soul of Red Nose Day”.
“I was in awe of each one of them,” he said. Every year these people put on their creative hat and come up with ever more creative and unexpected ways to raise millions of pounds.
“They made Red Nose Day what it is today.
BBC / Comic Relief)
“Everything our fundraisers do – big or small – has the power to change lives. And thanks to them, Comic Relief has helped support 11.7 million people over the past year.
“The fundraisers make a difference and it’s fun to do so – and that’s what makes me so proud to be a part of Comic Relief.”
Here, we meet some of the people who donated money for this year’s Red Nose Day.
Inspired by Captain Tom
Little Willow Kilpatrick was so inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s fundraising efforts that she decided to take on a similar challenge, despite being unable to walk without a helper.
The five-year-old has Kabuki syndrome – a rare congenital disorder caused by a mutated gene that leads to a range of disabilities.
But that didn’t stop Willow from walking three laps in her garden last spring in the hope of raising £100 for Comic Relief.
After her mother Stacey, 36, tweeted about Willow’s incredible achievement, the family raised more than £8,000 for charity after celebrities such as Miranda Hart, Davina McCall and Claudia Winkleman Share her story.
Illustrator Charlie Mackesy even sent Willow a personalized hand-drawn painting.
“While three laps in an average garden might seem easy for most five-year-olds, for Willow it was the equivalent of an Ironman Triathlon!” says Stacey.
For this year’s Comic Relief, Willow, from Kent, is aiming for a one-mile walk in her local park.
Stacey said the challenge would be like “climbing Everest” for the boy, but added: “We have to do what we can to help others like Willow.”
Find new ways to help those in need
While most people collect stamps or coins, Andy Green is obsessed with buying Red Noses.
He now owns what is believed to be the largest private collection of charity items in the UK.
Andy, 27, started buying Red Noses when he was just two – and over the past 25 years he’s amassed 70 and spent £250 buying the missing ones on eBay.
His precious collection is kept in a special stand he created with his own hands with a 3D printer.
Last year, Andy raised more than £1,600 for Comic Relief by posting a selfie every day for 60 days with another Red Nose.
He’s even created fun characters for each nose, including Tommy, who “loves to laugh, jokes and plays cheeky tricks on all the other noses” and Daisy, who “loves to dance and dream dreaming of one day starring in the Royal Nose Ballet! ”
Andy also shaved his head, grew beard and eyebrows, and waxed his chest and armpits to raise money for charity.
“There may be others who don’t openly say they own each Red Nose, but I think as far as I know, I have the largest collection in the country,” he said.
“When I was a kid, I didn’t always take good care of my noses so now I really take pride in my collection and make sure they are properly maintained.”
It wasn’t until 2013 that Andy, from Putney, South West London, started putting together the Red Noses he had collected as a child and searched for the missing ones online.
His collection now includes everything from his first Red Nose in 1988 to a rare 2019 Blue Nose, which he purchased as part of a 12-piece pack.
However, Andy’s personal favorite is the 2005 nose because of its multicolored elastic hair.
“It was always my favorite when I was a kid so I was really confused when I found it on eBay and now I have about six of them,” he said.
This year Andy, who works as a Service Division Analyst for Nando’s, is planning to hold a raffle and a workplace quiz contest to raise more money for Comic Relief.
He will also star in a new comedy sketch alongside Sir Lenny Henry and Dame Joanna Lumley and has appeared in Comic Relief promotional posters, which he describes as “incredibly entertaining”.
Andy is motivated by the power of laughter and says: “If you can make people laugh, I think that will make everyone have a better day.
“I like to think that I put others first, and this is another way to give back.
“I was really nervous when I raised £100 last year, so it’s great to have raised as much as I did.”
Andy is keen to expand his Red Nose collection and regularly hunts them down on eBay.
Last month, he bought a full display case of 2022’s Red Noses just to make sure he had the full set.
“Anything I can do to help raise money and awareness for Comic Relief is important,” he said.
Cooking to help change fuel
Entrepreneur Tallulah, 10, has raised more than £1,000 for charity by starting her own marzipan business.
Tallulah first came up with the idea 4 years ago after watching Comic Relief and wanted to help people in need.
She started selling eggs from the family’s chickens in a wooden “Barn Shop” set up outside her house.
Tom van Schelven / Relief Comics)
The boy then started using eggs to make salted caramel macaroons with a “top secret heirloom recipe”.
Tallulah, from the Isle of Wight, also sells homemade recipe cards in an effort to inspire others to bake their own.
As well as the Shed Shop, Tallulah’s macaroons are sold at a local bike shop, village shop and recreation center.
She said: “I would tell any other children thinking of fundraising to be brave and not hold back.
“Challenges can be fun and it’s great to help Comic Relief.”
Encourage others to reach their full potential
In 2017, Rae Saleem was paralyzed from the neck down after a bicycle accident.
The father-of-three pulled over to the curb and landed on the pavement first.
Doctors at the Royal Infirmary’s Main Trauma Unit told Rae, 46, he would never walk again.
But after months of intense rehabilitation, which Rae likened to “the Rocky movie boot camp,” he got up again and has never looked back.
Last year, he ran the equivalent of two marathons in 48 hours for Comic Relief.
And this year, Rae will do a quad gymnastics at his local recreation center, where he has completed most of his rehab.
He will row 10,000m, travel the same distance on a cross-country mountaineer, cycle 90km on a stationary bike, and run a half marathon on a treadmill.
He also encourages others to get involved by organizing a series of exercise classes, and all proceeds go to charity.
Rae, of Potters Bar, Herts, said: “The four challenges represent four key areas that Comic Relief works to address – homelessness, domestic abuse, mental health issues and poverty. .
“I just want to help and inspire others, especially those with spinal cord injuries, to reach their potential.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/meet-real-red-nose-day-26451044 Meet the real heroes of Red Nose Day who have raised millions of dollars for charity