Paddington bear’s festive take helps M&S raise more than £400,000 for Childline

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A heart-warming festive tale involving the nation’s favourite Bear led to Marks & Spencer raising almost £425,000 for Childline.

Paddington and the Christmas Visitor told the story of M&S’s Christmas TV advert and was sold at M&S stores and online for £3. The books were so popular that the first print run completely sold out. The book was produced for Marks & Spencer by HarperCollins Children’s Books, publisher of Michael Bond’s original Paddington stories and Paddington movie tie-ins, publishing partner to The Copyrights Group/ STUDIOCANAL.

In total 212,402 books were sold with all the profits being handed over to the NSPCC to help fund its vital Childline service, which is available 24/7 for young people in need of support and advice.

As part of the Christmas campaign, M&S hosted a number of ‘Paddington’ readings across the UK, which included an appearance from Childline founder, Dame Esther Rantzen, and Pixie Lott at London’s Marble Arch store. Celebrities Stacey Solomon, Charlotte Hawkins and Instagrammer Mother Pukka also filmed special book readings to promote the partnership.

NSPCC head of partnerships, Claire Hoyle, said: “Marks & Spencer has made an incredible donation to Childline that will enable us to be there for many more children, some of whom will be in a desperate situation with no-one else to turn to.

The incredible amount of money that has been raised by M&S through these book sales also shows that another generation of young people have been introduced to, and fallen in love with, Paddington. He is definitely the NSPCC’s favourite bear! We’re extremely grateful to M&S and STUDIOCANAL for their support.”

Rob Weston, brand & marketing director at M&S, said: “Paddington started as a storybook, so it’s exciting that we were able to produce this special tale as part of our Christmas campaign. Together with our customers and colleagues we’re delighted to have raised over £400,000 for a worthy cause that’s very close to our hearts.

‘Paddington and the Christmas Visitor’ told the story of how Paddington unknowingly saves Christmas for his friends and neighbours by showing a burglar who threatens to ruin Christmas for all the residents of Windsor Gardens the error of his ways.