Early years children raise thousands in charity singalong

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Annual fundraising event Chatterbox Challenge has raised more than £145,000 for children’s communication charity I CAN.

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Reception class children from Cottingham Primary School in Market Harborough perform 'Hop little bunnies' as part of the Chatterbox Challenge

The 2014 event, the charity’s 13th, invited children under five to perform songs and rhymes based on sounds, noises and silence in front of families and carers to highlight the speech, language and communication difficulties faced by 1.2 million children in the UK.

More than 158,000 children in nearly 4,000 settings across the country registered to take part in the event, which was sponsored by Openreach and TTS.

All participating settings were entered into two prize draws to win up to £2,000 worth of TTS vouchers and the opportunity to meet Humf, the children’s TV character who supported the event.

One of the charity’s highest fundraisers was Little Acorns Nursery in Atherton, which raised more than £1,700. Nursery manager Tracy Telfer said, ‘The children and adults all had a fantastic time at our Chatterbox Challenge. Thank you to all the adults who sponsored our little chatterboxes. I am overwhelmed by the amount we have raised, thank you so much to our parents and carers for getting so many sponsors to support I CAN.’

Virginia Beardshaw, I CAN chief executive, said, ‘We are hugely grateful to every single child and family member who took part in our annual Chatterbox Challenge event, helping us reach 158,000 children and supporting us to raise £145,000 for our work with children who struggle to communicate.

'Thanks to this fantastic fundraising and the backing of our sponsors, Openreach, TTS and the continued support of Humf, I CAN will be able to reach more early years settings and schools to ensure these children can join in, understand in class and achieve their potential.’