The Entertainer’s customers raise £3m for children’s charities through cashless donations


Customers at The Entertainer toy shops across the UK have hit an incredible milestone of £3m raised for children’s charities across the country – simply by rounding up their purchases to the nearest pound using Pennies, the digital charity box.

Award winning fintech charity Pennies is the digital upgrade of the traditional charity collection tin, and gives customers the option to donate a few pence to charity when paying by card or digital wallet.

The Entertainer, the fastest growing, family owned high street toy retailer in the UK, first added Pennies to its tills in its high street stores in June 2011, with the help of payments partner Worldpay. Since then, shoppers have rounded up their purchases more than 6.7million times, raising an incredible £3million for a number of children’s charities, including nine of the country’s leading children’s hospitals.

Customer generosity has grown even greater since the introduction of a contactless option to donate in-store in 2018, which almost doubled the amount raised for charity each week. And in the six days of trading before Christmas 2018, The Entertainer raised a record £74,000 in consumer donations through Pennies.

Gary Grant, founder and executive chairman of The Entertainer, says: “We are so grateful to our customers for their generosity through Pennies at the till.  The pennies donated have accumulated to a phenomenal amount of money since we introduced Pennies back in 2011 and have made a tremendous amount of difference to children’s charities all over the country.  We cannot thank our customers enough for the impact their pennies have made.”

Charities benefiting from these donations include Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Alder Hey Children’s Charity, Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, and Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity’s The Grand Appeal. The money raised to date has supported everything from the provision of life-saving medical equipment, to play therapy services to aid patient recovery and help families in need.

Alison Hutchinson, chief executive of Pennies, added: “Our belief is that giving to charity should be simple, quick and make us feel good – and that’s what Pennies is all about. It is also entirely anonymous as no data is captured, so no follow-ups from charities.

“The Entertainer’s customers should feel fantastic about what they are achieving. For example, every day, 619 children go to Great Ormond Street from right across the UK. Donations there are helping to fund ground-breaking research, advanced medical equipment, support services for children and their families, and the rebuilding and refurbishment of wards and medical facilities at the hospital. It may feel like pennies, but together they add up to extraordinary impact.”

Pennies has enabled an incredible 70 million small change digital donations to date through its digital charity box, raising £18 million in extra income for more than 400 charities, and growing. Someone currently gives via Pennies every two seconds.