Hasbro presents: The Light Fund Channel Relay – the film

The two teams taking on The Light Fund English Channel Relay fundraiser are now to star in a short film – which will be unveiled during the 2022 Licensing Awards, The Great Room at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on Tuesday 13 September 2022. The film will be sponsored by Hasbro.

The action-packed short film will include highlights of both the arduous training process and then the gruelling swim itself before rounding off with a triumphant landing for the teams in France and a thank-you to all the sponsors, including, of course, Hasbro. The global play and entertainment company, which delivers immersive brand experiences for global audiences through consumer products, including toys and games, entertainment and gaming, is the sponsor of the film, funding the entire production process from staffing to filming to editing, and adding a generous donation to the Channel Relay effort.

The film will be made by Albus Studios, a company founded in 2014 that specialises in film, photography and art, delivering exciting and effective content for B2B and B2C clients. The award-winning Albus team has worked with top brands across automotive, lifestyle and tourism, technology and current affairs, so is ideally suited to the requirements of a film that focuses on licensing – albeit a very unusual area of the licensing business.

It’s going to be quite a film too, in which two teams – a total of 14 people – endure prolonged physical exertion and try to avoid potential hazards, including hypothermia, seasickness, boats, sewage and oil, in sea temperatures of 16C or lower (without a wetsuit) while trying to race each other to the shores of France.

The big swim is scheduled to start between the 30th of June and the 3rd of July around 2am on a day when conditions for the swim are optimal.

Hasbro’s generous donation has taken the money raised and pledged even closer to the Light Fund target of £250,000 – which will be a record for any single Light Fund challenge. But there’s a lot more money to be raised and there are still many opportunities to sponsor a brave and slightly offbeat fundraising effort as well, of course, as being name-checked in the film at the 2022 Licensing Awards.

You can find out more about corporate sponsorship options here. And of course, individuals are very welcome to donate via the event’s Just Giving page, where you can also follow the teams preparing for the big day. There’s also an Instagram feed and a Facebook page containing team photos and updates.

Sally Carnota, Director Category Licensing at Hasbro, says: “This film will be a record of an inspirational and very brave fundraising effort. It will also be a big thank-you to all the participants and supporters involved in The Light Fund English Channel Relay fundraiser. We are enormously honoured to be sponsoring the official record of this memorable effort.”

Team captain Stephen Gould says: “The toughest Light Fund Challenge yet is nearly with us and, thanks to Hasbro and Albus Studios, our efforts will be professionally recorded for what we hope will be a triumphant record of a successful swim. Our thanks to all our sponsors and donors to date. Don’t forget: there are still many opportunities to support The Light Fund English Channel Relay fundraiser.”

About the Light Fund

The Light (Licensing Industry Giving Help Together) Fund was born when a group of like-minded people from the UK licensing industry came up with the idea to form a committee to help those less fortunate than themselves. The Light Fund is a registered charity, which raises monies to fund worthwhile charity projects that help children, women and men. Since its inception, back in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £1.7 million and funded hundreds of different charity projects.



The Light Fund announces Master Sponsors for English Channel Relay fundraiser

This summer, on a day between the 30th of June and the 3rd of July when the weather conditions are right, two boats of six swimmers will be racing each other across the English Channel to France in aid of The Light Fund charity. All the participants will be from the licensing industry, trying to be first to make it from Dover to the French coast – a 21-mile journey that could end up closer to 40 miles if you include tidal shifts.

The Light Fund has attracted a large and growing number of sponsors and donations for its forthcoming English Channel Relay fundraiser, and it can now proudly announce the Master Sponsors – the two groups that have taken on the biggest sponsorships available for this year’s Light Fund challenge.

Playmates Toys and Wow! Stuff have both guaranteed five-figure sums to support the pivotal role of the two pilot boats transporting, supporting and protecting both six-member swim teams during the relay.

A Light Fund spokesperson says: “For over 55 years, Playmates Toys’ commitment to quality and excellence in the design, development and marketing of character-rich toys has inspired imaginative play for generations of children worldwide. Wow! Stuff is a name globally synonymous with toy innovation for licensed brands. The names of both Master Sponsors will now appear on the two vessels: Pilot Boat Optimist and Pilot Boat High Hopes.

“The Playmates Toys and Wow! Stuff sponsorships won’t just support the hire of the boats, they will pay for the pilot, crew, observers, Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation (CS&PF) registrations and access to the internal marina at Dover as well as pick-up collections, car parking and – of course – a licence for swimming across the busiest shipping channel in the world – with around 1,000 vessels per day in transit.

“Both sponsorships also include a more-than-generous donation towards this year’s Light Fund Challenge target of £250,000, which will be shared by principal beneficiary the RNLI and a number of other organisations and projects supported by the charity that is inspired, and run, by the licensing industry.”

Playmates Toys and Wow! Stuff are in distinguished company. Some 70 other businesses working in the licensing industry have supported the swimmers with sponsorships varying from hundreds to thousands of pounds – and covering everything from drinks bottles to deep sea water training, towels to film and drone technology.

The money raised and pledged so far has taken the two teams almost two-thirds of the way to their target of £250,000 – which will be a record for any single Light Fund challenge.

The generosity of all the companies backing the cross-Channel swim will be saluted both on and beyond the day of the swim itself. Every sponsor will be namechecked in a special thank-you video that will be among the highlights of this year’s Licensing Awards ceremony.

With only four months until the English Channel Relay takes place, there are still many sponsorship opportunities available. Interested parties can find out more about corporate sponsorship options here. Individuals are very welcome to donate via the event’s Just Giving page, where you can also follow the teams preparing for the big day. There’s also an Instagram feed and a Facebook page containing team photos and updates.

On the day itself a limited-access live feed is also planned in tandem with GPS trackers on each pilot boat: watch out for announcements on how to follow the challenge as it happens.

Michael Chan of Playmates Toys says: “We jumped at the opportunity to give our backing to this extraordinary challenge and play a role in bringing essential support to these two brave and committed teams. It’s a real honour to be a Master Sponsor for the licensing industry’s biggest charity challenge of the year.”

Richard North, CEO, Wow! Stuff, says: “When we heard that the licensing industry was supplying two teams to do a relay swim across the Channel we thought two things: ‘Are they mad?’ and ‘How can we help?’ The Light Fund helped the toy industry initiative ToyAid, which Joel Silverman and I set up during the height of the pandemic. This is Wow! Stuff’s thanks for that involvement and our commitment to be with the mad team of Light Fund swimmers every step – or stroke – of the way.”

As Stephen Gould, who will be captaining one of the two teams, says: “Without the dozens of sponsors and hundreds of smaller donations from so many people in the licensing industry this wouldn’t be happening. If you’ve backed us already, our sincere and grateful thanks. If you haven’t as yet, there are many more opportunities to support our teams and the many very worthwhile causes backed by the licensing industry’s very own charity.”

The Light (Licensing Industry Giving Help Together) Fund was born when a group of like-minded people from the UK licensing industry came up with the idea to form a committee to help those less fortunate than themselves. The Light Fund is a registered charity, which raises monies to fund worthwhile charity projects that help children, women and men. Since its inception, back in 2004, The Light Fund has raised over £1.7 million and funded hundreds of different charity projects.



The NSPCC partners with Imagine8 for Pantosaurus and Buddy merchandise

Edutainment Licensing has announced that UK children’s charity the NSPCC has partnered with Imagine8 to create ranges of Pantosaurus and Buddy merchandise.

Based in Warrington, Imagine8 develops product ranges from concept to delivery for a one-stop-shop cross-category solution.

The ‘Back to School with Buddy’ range includes a selection of bags, water bottles and stationery featuring strong and bold graphics.

The NSPCCs Buddy is a bright green speech bubble mascot used to communicate the NSPCCs Speak Out. Stay Safe (SOSS) campaign, which has so far reached 90 per cent of primary schools nationwide.

The age-appropriate SOSS assemblies and workshops are delivered to children aged 5 to 11 across the UK and Channel Islands to encourage them to speak out if something is worrying them.

The ‘Pantosaurus Summer’ range of accessories is perfect for taking to the swimming pool as well as the beach.

Pantosaurus helps children learn about the PANTS rules, which aims to help keep them safe. From P through to S, each letter of PANTS provides a simple but valuable rule: that their private parts are private, their body belongs to them, and that they should tell an adult they trust if theyre worried or upset.

Since the launch of PANTS, 1.5 million parents have already had one of these conversations with their children and the NSPCC hopes this amazing range of products will help many more parents and carers talk PANTS with their little ones.

Fanattik names Get-Well Gamers its charity partner for 2022

The pop culture specialist, Fanattik, has named the gaming charity, Get-Well Gamers as its charity partner until the end of 2022. The partnership has been struck up as the firm’s means of ‘giving back to the community that has supported it since launch.’

Established in 2007, Fanattik has been developing film and gaming collectables for the geek culture market for the past 14 years. Its partnership with Get-Well Gamers not only reflects its appreciation for audience that has helped its success, but the role gaming plays with mental health improvement.

“Every member of staff at Fanattik HQ is a gamer, and we’re a multi-generational team, with some of us growing up with Atari’s and Amiga’s, and some growing up with PlayStations and Xboxes. We all recognise the importance of the problem-solving, hand-eye coordination, and mental health improvement that comes with gaming, so supporting a gaming charity like Get-Well Gamers, was a no-brainer,” said Fanttik’s MD, Anthony Marks.

Get-Well Gamers was founded in 2016 and provides recycled consoles and games to hospitals, hospices and other healthcare settings, where children may have long hospital stays, or are in circumstances in which recreational activities can be beneficial. They are currently linked up with almost 200 hospitals and organisations across the UK.

Fanattik is the licensee for many gaming franchises including Resident Evil, Sea of Thieves, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Banjo-Kazooie, Doom, Cuphead, and more. The team’s ranges of gaming gifts from 24k gold plated collectibles to limited edition pin badges can be found on sale at all levels of the European gift trade from HMV to Hamleys.

Fanattik is also an award-winning gift company, being crowned the North West Business of the Year awarded by the Federation of Small Business in 2020, their SpongeBob SquarePants bottle opener has been nominated for Gift Of the Year by the British Gift Association for 2021.

Get-Well Gamers were recently the subject of a BBC short film about the important work that they do, which you can watch here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p072wh7k.

UK charity Guide Dogs joins Bulldog Licensing portfolio with pet and consumer products plans

Guide Dogs, the UK charity established to support people with sight loss to live actively and independently, has joined the Bulldog Licensing portfolio as it looks to build a consumer products campaign around its well-respected name.

Building on the charity’s reputation for raising puppies to become life-changing partners, the licensing programme will target dog owners with high quality pet products, training aids, and pet travel accessories. Outside of this core area, the programme will also bring to market a range of items including collectable toys, apparel, and accessories.

The product range will be aimed at dog lovers across the nation to include gifting, collectables, and stationery, all of which will focus on the dogs, trained by the Guide Dogs team of experts, to make life-changing differences to visually impaired people throughout the UK.

Guide Dogs was recently named the sixth most popular UK charity in a YouGov poll and is the largest provider of services for children and young people with a vision impairment. Guide Dogs has an unparalleled reputation for canine care and expertise as the world’s largest breeder and trainer of dogs, making it the perfect brand for dog lovers nationwide. 

Rob Corney, MD, Bulldog Licensing, said: “Guide Dogs does some incredible work helping people with visual impairment to lead happy, independent lives safely through their incredible dog partnerships, which gives them a special place in the heart of the UK population.

“We’re excited to start building a range of products for Guide Dog owners and trainers themselves, as well as our nation of dog lovers.”

A birthday party with Richard Cadell and tickets for Lions vs Japan among prizes in The Light Fund’s silent auction

The Light Fund is looking to bring a little Christmas cheer to the end of a tough year with the launch of a silent auction and prize draw, offering entrants the chance to win ‘some incredible money can’t buy prizes.’

With industry events and get-togethers put on hold throughout 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, The Light Fund has missed vital opportunities to raise funds for the causes it supports this year. The silent auction is the organisation’s bid to recoup some of those with the help of the industry.

There’s a spectacular array of prizes and auction lots, including the chance to have Sooty and Richard Cadell host a birthday party for a lucky child and five friends, or for author Jonny Duddle to Zoom into a classroom to host a Gigantosaurus live drawing and reading event.

Meanwhile, as and when real life events return, there are some great lots available including a week’s holiday in Cornwall,  a trip for two people to the MTV European music awards (including the after show party), and a pair of  tickets to watch the Lions VS Japan at Murrayfield.

You can view the prizes and auction lots, make your bids, and buy tickets over on the website – www.givergy.uk/TheLightFund

The Light Fund raffle is now also selling tickets – £10 each – for the chance to win more prizes, including a £500 online shopping voucher with The Entertainer/Early Learning Centre, or a £500 voucher for Selfridges.

Within three days of launching, the total donations were already up to £4,000, but with the support of the industry and its family and friends, the organisation is looking to raise a lot more.

Bids for the auction will close on 17th December, 2020, and the raffle will also be drawn on the same day.

Anyone who has items they would like to donate as prizes should please contact Anne Bradford AnneB@poeticbrands.com / 07788 585343. New lots and prizes would be very welcome and there is still plenty of time to add them.