SHOW YOUR SPOTS AND SUPPORT BBC CHILDREN IN NEED

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Published by Riverside Training (Spalding) Ltd

I'm a huge supporter of BBC Children in Need.

Not surprising, you might say, considering the nature of my business.

But as well as running a childcare training company, I'm a mum too.

I, along with the millions of other people who contribute to the charity's coffers each year, believe in helping to make a real difference to the lives of children across the UK.

Children in Need's vision is that every youngster in the UK has a childhood which is safe, happy and secure, and allows them the chance to reach their potential.

I am fully behind this thinking, from both a professional and personal position, and am committed to continuing to play my small part in helping to make this vision a reality.

The charity provides grants to both large and small projects which focus on empowering and extending the life choices of disadvantaged children and young people.

And this year it is asking nurseries to raise lots with the help of spots through its new fundraising campaign, The Big Spotacular, launched in partnership with Lloyds Bank.

There is still time for your childcare setting to get involved; by wearing spots, selling spots - such as holding spotty bake sales - or taking on a sponsored spot challenge.

You'll find a whole host of great activity ideas in the official fundraising kit - which also has posters, stickers and recipes - and on the Spotacular website, including inspiring fundraising tools and education resources.

The Early Years online teaching resources feature a PSHE lesson plan and material for little ones as young as three years old.

And while raising money for disadvantaged children is the main objective, it's also worth remembering that taking part has been shown to have a positive impact on developing teamwork, communication and confidence.

Teachers that used the educational resources last year said they felt the programme benefitted children's skills development, social attitudes and knowledge, including awareness of the challenges faced by other children, taking responsibility for their actions, and appreciation of their community.

This year I have my own Children in Need mission.  My plan is to catch up with television presenter Matt Baker as he takes part in The One Show's Rickshaw Challenge and hand over a donation from our company.

We were successful five years ago when he came through Spalding and managed to persuade him to stop and presented him with a cheque for £500.

We also took the opportunity to take a couple of quick photos with MATT at the same time.

I'm already sizing up the section of route between Skegness and King's Lynn to figure out where will be best to pounce, sorry, ask him politely to spare us a few seconds!

If, and when, we track him down we intend taking another snap to share on social media.

In the meantime, we'd love to see and share what you're doing to raise money for Children in Need.  Whether your nursery children are dressing up, selling cakes or taking part in another spotty challenge tweet @Riversideltd