WORLD heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua visited Coventry to surprise a group of children at a charity Christmas lights switch-on.
Joshua visited to support the NPSCC’s ‘Light up Christmas for Children’ fundraising campaign, in partnership with JLR, to improve future assistance for vulnerable children in the UK.
The campaign encourages the public to share their #LightsOn selfies and make a donation to the charity.
The project also aims to illuminate the struggles for children during the Christmas period.
The charity claims a young person will contact Childline every 25 seconds, and only three out of four calls can be answered due to funding shortages.
Nationally, more than 8,000 counselling sessions were completed over the festive period last year and the NSPCC is expecting an increase in calls this year.
Joshua’s festively-wrapped prototype Jaguar I-PACE was packed with gifts for the children at Boole House, the NSPCC centre, where he arrived to pose for a #LightsOn selfie to promote the campaign.
He also toured Boole House to learn about the projects the NSPCC runs for children in the city.
Joshua said: “This can be a really tough time of year for lots of people, so when I heard about the NSPCC’s ‘Light up Christmas for Children’ campaign I wanted to come to Boole House, meet the kids and hear about the incredible work that is done there.
“Working with Jaguar Land Rover to give the children such a special surprise was brilliant.
“It was a privilege to meet them and talk to them about what they can achieve if they set their minds to it.”
Amanda Synott, NSPCC community fundraising manager in the West Midlands, said: “We launched our new fundraising campaign, ‘Light up Christmas for Children’, to help the NSPCC keep more children safe.
“We simply can’t respond to everyone who contacts Childline.
“But with Anthony Joshua’s help, we hope to be one step closer to raising the money we need to answer every call.”
The Coventry and Warwickshire Business Group has raised £2.75 million for the NSPCC since 1996, helping to fund the construction of Boole House and many of its projects.
To support the NSPCC’s ‘Light up Christmas for Children’ campaign, share your festive #LightsOn selfie and donate £4 by clicking here, or text LIGHTS to 70025.