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Presenters confirmed for BBC Children in Need’s 40th anniversary live appeal show

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Live from BBC Elstree Studios, Mel Giedroyc will be returning to host the annual appeal show alongside Alex Scott MBE, Chris Ramsey and Stephen Mangan who will all be hosting BBC Children in Need for the first time.

Returning to present the annual BBC Children in Need Appeal night, Mel Giedroyc says: “BBC Children in Need is 40, it’s older than me, I can’t believe it! It is an absolute honour for me to join the rest of the gang hosting a heart-warming, fabulous, surprising and entertaining show – it’s going to be blooming brilliant and a dazzingly delightful night of top telly!”

On taking on the Appeal night’s presenting duties for the first time, Alex Scott MBE says: “It feels so surreal to be a presenter on BBC Children in Need – it’s a complete honour. It has been a show which I have grown up with, so to be joining the presenting line-up is amazing. I don’t think a little 8-year-old Alex watching at home all those years ago would have ever dreamed that one day she could be presenting it. It goes to show that anything can happen, no matter your circumstances or background – never stop dreaming. It’s going to be a great show, for an incredible cause, so see everyone on 13 November.”

Chris Ramsey adds: “BBC Children in Need is a National institution and the show is an amazing night for an incredible cause. When they asked me to be involved in the show I assumed I’d be dressed up as Pudsey or something but they actually want me to be on the presenting team. It‘s a huge honour and I’m looking forward to helping to raise huge amounts of money and also not sweating as much as I would have in the Pudsey costume.”

Stephen Mangan says: “I could not be more honoured to be part of this year’s BBC Children in Need, especially during such difficult times. BBC Children in Need is an incredibly important institution and this year more than ever we need to get together to do all we can to help disadvantaged children.”

The live show, made by BBC Studios, begins at 7pm, BBC One, Friday 13 November.

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Cultural Sector in Estonia gets 42m Euros aid

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The film sector will receive 5.3 million Euros, of which 3.3 million Euros is earmarked for cinemas and film distributors | Photo: Matheus Bertelli

The Estonian government has announced a supplementary budget, with 42 million Euros set to be allocated towards culture.

Earlier in March, the cultural sector submitted a proposal to the government on a crisis exit strategy, which was signed by 335 organisations from the cultural and creative industry. Representatives from music, arts, performing arts, museums, folk culture, literature, film and cinema emphasised in their joint proposal that culture has a significant impact on both the economy as well as the population’s mental health. The proposal included both short-term and long-term initiatives and an outline of the needed crisis package, which would help culture survive in the current situation and recover afterwards.

Half of the 42 million Euros supplementary aid package will go to cultural events organisers, including funds allocated to support cultural events organisers, the music sector, several museums and performing arts establishments.

The film sector will receive 5.3 million Euros, of which 3.3 million Euros is earmarked for cinemas and film distributors. The remaining 2 million Euros goes to film productions.

A separate fund of 6 million Euros, aimed at providing security for international cultural and sports events, is also part of the supplementary aid budget for the cultural sector.

Meanwhile, Estonia and several other countries across Europe remain in lockdown with cinemas as well as other cultural institutions closed at least until mid-April 2021.

Photo: Matheus Bertelli

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World Record Parachute Jump to Benefit Climate Refugees

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In 2017 Tomasz Kozlowski jumped 48 times in one day, raising funds for Polish sufferers of serious illness

Jump for the Planet, a record-breaking event will see Polish daredevil Tomasz Kozlowski attempt to break the current world record for the highest parachute jump previously held by Felix Baumgartner and Alan Eustace.

Seven years after it was last attempted, the psychologist and mountain rescue expert plans to break the record by freefalling from the stratosphere at a record height of 45km (148,000 feet), as part of the Jump for the Planet crusade raising funds and awareness for climate refugees.

According to Oxfam, natural disasters caused by climate change force people to abandon their homes at three times the rate of armed conflicts. The number of “climate refugees” is estimated at a quarter of a billion in the last decade.

The 2022 jump will be live-streamed globally from cameras on Kozlowski’s suit as he attempts to become the fastest non-powered man in history, exceeding terminal velocity and the speed of sound to reach over 1500 km/h (930 mph).

Jump for the Planet includes a series of charity activities raising funds to finance modular buildings that can be readily transported to places affected by cataclysms and assembled into homes, schools, dormitories and more. Eighty percent of each modular home is built from recycling abandoned sea containers and plastic waste and powered exclusively by renewable energy.

Jump for the Planet is supported by the Pho3nix Foundation, a non-profit organisation focussed on promoting physical activity as a way to improve children’s health and inspire them to follow their dreams.

Kozlowski is no stranger to breaking records. In 2014, he recorded the highest parachute jump in Europe (10,735 meters). After the resulting publicity, he realized he could go for more than just records.

“I decided that if I jump again, if I do something difficult and extreme, I will use it to support people,” he says.

In 2017, he jumped 48 times in one day, raising funds for Polish sufferers of serious illness. In 2018, Kozlowski successfully jumped 100 times in one day, raising enough to purchase over 100 specialized wheelchairs for children in need.

Kozlowski’s latest charity was borne out of fears for his children’s future. “In 20-30 years, the climate will be completely changed. We don’t know what we’re doing to our planet.”

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Swarovski Foundation launches sustainability grant for young creatives

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Selected grantees will receive financial support to further their practice in arts and fashion

The Swarovski Foundation has announced the launch of Swarovski Foundation Institute: Creatives for Our Future, a new global grant program designed with advisor the United Nations Office for Partnerships to identify and accelerate the next generation of creative leaders in sustainability.

SFI: Creatives for Our Future has a four-week open call to all creatives worldwide aged 18 to 25 from disciplines including fashion, design, art, architecture, science, technology and engineering – with no limit to creative medium. Successful applicants will have a keen interest in, demonstration of, or exemplary potential to use the creative process to accelerate awareness, technologies or solutions for sustainable development. The Swarovski Foundation aims to draw in a diverse pool of applicants from across the globe and bring new voices and perspectives to the creative process.

Selected grantees will receive financial support to further their practice. The funding is paired with an educational program in collaboration with top international institutions, tailored mentorship and industry networking connections with guidance from the Swarovski Foundation. Grantees will be provided support to develop the innovations and practices outlined in their applications and drive progress toward the Decade of Action to Deliver the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The grantees will be invited to present in September 2021 around the high-level segment of the UN General Assembly.

Application and program details can be found on www.sfcreatives.org. Worldwide applications will be accepted from March 9th to April 9th, 2021. Successful grantees will be announced on April 21st to coincide with UN World Creativity and Innovation Day.

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