Comic Relief goes the distance for immunisation

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Funds raised through its Sport Relief programme to be doubled through GAVI Matching Fund  

Sport Relief Run DC

Athletes participate in a GAVI fun run for Sport Relief on 17 March in Washington, DC. Photo credit: GAVI/David Ferreira/2012

London, 19 March 2012Comic Relief, the hugely popular UK charity, is gearing up for a marathon of events over the next week as part of its Sport Relief fundraising campaign, with a portion of the proceeds going toward child immunisation through the GAVI Alliance.

The events will culminate in Sport Relief Weekend, beginning Friday 23 March, showcased through the BBC’s Sport Relief TV, a live entertainment and comedy show that will run throughout the weekend.

This will be followed by athletic events across the UK and globally, in which more than one million men, women and children are expected to run one, three or six miles to raise money for immunisation and other causes.

Partnership

Thanks to Comic Relief’s partnership with GAVI through the Matching Fund, the funds raised by Sport Relief for immunisation will be matched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Comic Relief’s campaign for immunisation has been building for months, including:

  • A GAVI fun run for Sport Relief on 17 March in Washington, DC;
  • A TV broadcast of “Let's Dance for Sport Relief” featuring the pop band JLS, which raised funds for immunisation during a BBC broadcast from Uganda;
  • John Bishop’s Week of Hell during which the British comedian cycled, rowed and ran more than 295 miles from Paris to London in five days, raising funds from the public to help pay for pentavalent vaccine procured by GAVI for children in Africa.

Change lives

“I’m absolutely blown away. That money is going to change lives,” Bishop said of the donations toward his efforts. This followed a trip to Sierra Leone arranged by GAVI, which he described as among the most humbling experiences of his life.

“Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And on behalf of all those who will benefit from the money, thank you from the bottom of their hearts too.”

For more information about this week’s events, visit Sport Relief.

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