Tyneside based international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) is gearing up to double supporters’ Christmas donations by taking part in the UK’s biggest match funding campaign, The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 2019.

Now in its 12th year, The Christmas Challenge launches at midday on 3rd December (Giving Tuesday) and runs for seven days, until 10th December 2019.  Throughout the week, participating charities will see supporters’ donations matched (up to £50,000 per organisation), doubling the impact of their gifts.

COCO is committed to working in partnership with remote communities across East Africa to provide access to the quality education that is essential for a good start in life.  By taking part in The Big Give Christmas Challenge, the charity hopes to raise £8,000 towards the Save Mercy Primary Appeal, enough to build an additional classroom at the school.  The appeal is aiming to raise a total of £42,000 to fund five new classrooms to open in time for the new January term, so that the school can continue to deliver the education to young people that is essential for improving their future prospects.  Since October the charity’s supporters have already raised enough to fund three of the classrooms.

Lucy Kendall, CEO of COCO, said: “We’re close to achieving our goal of raising enough funds to build five classrooms at Mercy Primary School, urgently needed in time for the new term in January, which will make such a huge difference to the lives of young people and their families.  December is a time for giving and spreading joy, so we would ask people to dig deep during The Big Give Christmas Challenge week to double their donation so that we can build the remaining classrooms.

“We’re extremely grateful to everyone who has donated to the Save Mercy Primary Appeal so far – the response in such a short space of time has been absolutely fantastic. This one final push for 2019 will make such a big difference to young people in 2020.”

Jonathan Frank, Director of The Big Give, adds:

“The Christmas Challenge is a great opportunity for the British public to maximise the impact of their charitable gifts.  Launching on Giving Tuesday, we’re encouraging everyone to consider the causes closest to their heart and to donate, enabling us to help ensure those donations go even further.”

The Big Give matches donations through partnerships with over 20 funding Champions, including Reed Foundation, The Childhood Trust, Four Acre Trust and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Co-founded in 2000 by Steve Cram CBE and British Army Major Jim Panton, COCO has grown into one of the North East’s most dynamic and well-loved charities.  Since its inception, the charity has raised over £4.5 million to fund small, community led programmes.  Along with its partners COCO has now undertaken 66 transformational projects in 16 countries, positively impacting on the lives of over 200,000 people. 

To find out more about The Big Give or how to donate, watch this 30-second video or visit: https://bit.ly/2KKdvls

For further information about what COCO is raising money for through The Big, visithttps://donate.thebiggive.org.uk/campaign/a051r00001NbuOxAAJ, find the charity on Facebook, or follow @COCO_Charity on Twitter.