"Everybody's favourite bear" - that's Paddington, if you weren't 100% sure, shame on you ! - will be celebrating his birthday on the 25th June. Although just like the Queen, he actually has two official birthdays, with his official winter birthday falling on 25th December. I'm sure you all know that he comes from darkest Peru, loves marmalade sandwiches and always wears a duffel coat and battered old hat, but did you also know that he is the mascot of children's charity Action Medical Research?
Action Medical Research is a UK-wide charity that is saving and changing children’s lives through medical research. Their main goals are tackling premature birth and treating sick and vulnerable babies, helping children affected by disability, disabling conditions and infections and targeting rare diseases that severely affect many forgotten children. As they say, just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world. Medical research for children is a sadly neglected area and Action Medical Research relies entirely on public support. With increased public awareness and support, they will be able to fund even more life-changing research for some of the UK's sickest babies and children. Action Medical Research has already played a significant role in many medical breakthroughs of the past 60 years, starting with the development of the first UK polio vaccine. The charity is currently funding research into conditions including Down syndrome, premature birth, epilepsy, meningitis, diabetes and rare diseases.
For over 10 years, AMR supporters have hosted or attended popular "Bring Your Bear" events across the UK. Every child brings in two pounds with their favourite bear to an event as a simple and fun way to support vital research to help babies and children. The "Bring Your Bear" activity for this year is drawing to a close but the charity have a brand new campaign up their sleeves. Along with their their celebrity ambassadors – including Davina McCall, Phil Spencer, Joanna Rowsell, Dermot Murnaghan and Tony Hadley – the charity is asking their supporters to post birthday wishes on twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Fans, supporters and celebrities will be taking pictures of themselves with their Paddington Bears, or making short videos of themselves and others singing happy birthday.
This very cute Happy Birthday video features 3-year-old Kylie, who has primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD), a debilitating, lifelong, inherited illness which causes recurrent ear and chest infections, often leading to permanent lung damage. This is one of the conditions that Action Medical Research fund research for, helping earlier diagnosis of other children with PCD like Kylie.
The charity has also developed a quick online quiz to test people’s knowledge of all things Paddington Bear. Those answering all questions correctly will be entered into a prize draw to win a cuddly Paddington signed by TV personality Davina McCall - a steadfast supporter of the charity who has been involved with Action Medical Research since she was a little girl.
Davina says: "Having kids and being a mum means supporting Action Medical Research has such great meaning to me because of all of the great work it funds to help children. Research is so important, and great leaps are being made – just one breakthrough, however small, can mean the world. Please get involved in wishing Paddington Bear a Happy Birthday and help spread the word about the amazing research that Action Medical Research fund.”
The Paddington Bear quiz, and prize draw to win the cuddly bear signed by Davina McCall, can be accessed from 24 June 2013 via www.action.org.uk/paddingtonbear
Other blogposts you may be interested in :