One of the most unique feature on Blue Peter was its annual appeals, a charitable event spread through children across the country.
If you are a regular Blue Peter viewer, you will know that once a year they organise an Appeal on behalf of people at home or abroad who are desperately in need of help.
The Appeals Edit
- Blue Peter Appeal 1990 (Romania)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1991 (The Golden Age Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1992 (The I-Care Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1993 (Pieces of Eight Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1994 (Well Water Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1995 (Paperchain Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1996 (Bring and Buy Sale for Leprosy)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1997 (Appeal for Cystic Fibrosis)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1998 (Mozambigue)
- Blue Peter Appeal 1999 (New life Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 2000 (Stamp Aid 2,000)
- Blue Peter Appeal 2001 (Wheel help Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 2002 (Water Works Appeal)
- Blue Peter Appeal 2003 (After school clubs Appeal through Mencap)
Blue Peter has held many charitable appeals, asking the viewers to collect recyclable items that can by sold for money to donate to a certain cause. The charity project is for within the UK in odd-numbered years and elsewhere, across the world in even-numbered years. The appeal is launched usually in late November and happens until February/March of the next year. Up until 1979, only products of waste were collected, like stamps, linens, coins and scrap metal. In 1979 itself, one of the most popular forms of raising the money was encouraging the viewers to hold a Blue Peter Bring and Buy Sales where buyers were encouraged to bring their own produce to sell. They were used every few years to add some variety to the collecting theme.
From 2001 to 2003 some Bring and Buy Appeals led lots of the viewers and indeed the media to be concerned by the old method of collecting scrap items to recycle was now being abandoned for the easier path generated by these sales. This led to Konnie Huq, in the 2003 Get Together Appeal to say that this particular appeal had to have the sort of funding that only Bring and Buy Sales could raise. The next two years, saw the same theme, 2004's theme being to collect some old clothes for Oxfam and the 2005 appeal was a collection of old phones for ChildLine. 2006 had a collection of unwanted pairs of footwear and the 2007 theme was collecting unwanted CDs and DVDs.
During appeals, the sum of money or objects collected is presented on the totaliser – a display that lights to show the amount collected. With some appeals, a second totaliser has often been introduced immediately after the original target has been met, with the aim of providing an incentive to keep on donating.
The 2007 Disc Drive Appeal was, controversially, handled in a different editorial style, and it was not featured in each programme since its launch as in previous years. Also the totaliser, before part of the studio set, was relegated to an on-screen animation/graphic.
The 2008 appeal was called Mission Nutrition, an attempt to provide children in the UK, Bangladesh and South Africa with better food. As part of this appeal, the Blue Peter presenters held the world's biggest bring and buy sale on 18 February 2009, which was attended by several celebrities as well as regular people. Since the 2008 appeal there has been a return to regular features on the Appeal's progress in each edition, and the reistatement of a physical studio set Totaliser.
The 2009 Appeal was "Send a Smile Appeal" which was symbolic as being the first Appeal in the history of the programme to blend a collecting theme with the Blue Peter "make" methodology. Children were encouraged to collect unwanted T-shirts to be donated to Operation Smile, a charity providing free reconstructive surgery to children in the developing world, where they were be used as surgical gowns for their operations. Appeal contributors were encouraged to customise their gowns in a variety of creative ways, as well as following instructions given on the programme for how to include eyelets and ties to the backs of the gowns. In 2011 and 2012, the Appeal supported BBC Children in Need.
As part of the 50th year a BBC estimate was that since the first appeal started Blue Peter has raised over £100 million (inflation adjusted figure to 2008 value) by appeals.