Operation Smile Targets Schools in Blue Peter Appeal Campaign

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Global children's charity asks schools to "Send a Smile" as part of Blue Peter's annual charity appeal

We're thrilled to have succeeded in becoming the chosen Blue Peter charity and excited about the opportunity it gives us to help more children, work more closely with UK schools and highlight the work of the charity to a wider audience.

Global children's charity Operation Smile has launched a campaign targeting UK primary schools as part of an initiative which follows its successful bid to become the 48th Blue Peter charity appeal partner.

The popular BBC1 children's programme officially launched its annual appeal on October 21 with pop group 'The Saturdays' who are ambassadors for the appeal. The Blue Peter "Send a Smile" campaign will seek to help Operation Smile, a charity providing life-changing operations for children with cleft lips & palates in many of the world's poorest countries.

They will be asking schoolchildren in the UK to make simple surgical gowns for children to wear in their operations. Each gown would normally cost the charity around £3 and the aim is to get 20,000 gowns made and use the money saved to give more children the £150 operation that can transform their lives in as little as 45 minutes.

Operation Smile, which used its marketing agency, RAPP, to assist in its bid to become the programme's chosen charity partner, is now targeting 23,000 UK primary schools with a mail pack designed to engage schools in the appeal.

The pack, developed by RAPP, urges teachers to get involved by incorporating involvement in the appeal into the curriculum and it includes a series of lesson plan ideas. The pack also shows how to make a gown out of a cotton T-shirt as well as highlighting how Operation Smile and their 5,000 medical volunteers are changing the lives of children all over the world.

This appeal will centre on helping children in Guwahati, Northeast India with the aim being able to give at least 300 more children the life-changing operation they desperately need.

Schools and individuals will be able to drop off their gowns at any Currys or PC World store, Access self-storage or APC Overnight depots.

Alex Talbot at Operation Smile comments: "We're thrilled to have succeeded in becoming the chosen Blue Peter charity and excited about the opportunity it gives us to help more children, work more closely with UK schools and highlight the work of the charity to a wider audience."

Niall O'Keeffe, Currys and PC World Marketing Director commented; "We are really pleased to be involved with the Blue Peter and Operation Smile Appeal. Our 650 plus Currys and PC World stores, all over the country, are ready to receive the decorated t-shirts from young people everywhere. We wish all involved good luck and are glad to be able to assist with this very worthwhile cause."

Email sendasmileappeal (at) operationsmile (dot) org (dot) uk to find out more or go online to

http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/bluepeter

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Robert Mayes
RAPP
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