Henry Winter
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Paws for thought – how buying a Tatty Teddy can make a difference

Henry Winter
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13 Jun 2012

This month Marks & Spencer are running the ‘Putting Childhood Leukaemia to Bed’ campaign to raise money for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research. This means that every store in the UK is selling a rather adorable special edition Tatty Teddy key ring throughout June, with all proceeds going to our charity.

For the second year running, M&S are also generously donating 10% of sales of kid’s nightwear to the charity until 19 June (Why not stock up on Christmas presents early?).

The great British public has responded to the campaign with traditional generosity and after the first week over 10,000 key rings have already been sold. To paraphrase a charity cliché, every teddy counts, and the money raised will go towards some fantastic projects which are working to beat childhood leukaemia.

Every day in the UK children and their families are put through the horror of a leukaemia diagnosis and while survival rates have improved dramatically (90% for the most common form, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia), any parent will tell you that this isn’t good enough. Children are still dying and the gruelling treatment can have lifelong side effects.

As a charity, we’re doing all we can to improve treatments for children through the funding of research and clinical trials across the UK. We are funding scientists in Sheffield who are developing tests to make sure that each child gets the correct amount of maintenance treatment. In London an exciting project is making big strides in the improvement of cord blood transplants, for those children who have run out of all other treatment options. These are just two of the 33 initiatives we are currently supporting, thanks to the generosity of the public.

So what are you waiting for? Head down to your local M&S for a Tatty Teddy. Why not send us your photo for our ‘Where’s Tatty?’ gallery. You’ll be in good company – celebs like Sir Steve Redgrave are featured, along with some incredibly inspirational children being treated for leukaemia. We’re even giving away a pair of kid’s pyjamas each week for the best submitted photo. If you needed anymore incentive, watch this video about the four ‘faces’ of Putting Childhood Leukaemia to Bed.