23 Jun 2014

Families urged to hold a Big Summer Do for The Children’s Society this summer

THREE-quarters of adults say their fondest childhood summer memory is of playing outside in the school holidays, according to a new survey.

The survey was commissioned by The Children’s Society to mark the launch of The Big Summer Do – a fundraising campaign to get families outdoors to recreate and celebrate their favourite memories of childhood.

After playing outside, named by 74% of people as their fondest recollection, summer memories highlighted include playing outdoor games like hopscotch (42%), having a water fight (37%), enjoying family picnics in the garden or a park (34%) and playing with friends and family at a summer party (29%).

The survey, carried out by One Poll, also shows the extent to which adults cherish their early childhood memories. An overwhelming 86% of respondents describe them as precious.

This summer, The Children’s Society is urging families to get together with loved ones to celebrate their precious childhood summer memories by holding a Big Summer Do to raise money for disadvantaged children and help bring back childhood for those at risk of losing theirs.

Suggestions include organising fundraising parties, barbecues and picnics with events such as Silly Olympics, toy raffles, treasure hunts, cake sales and nostalgia quizzes. 

Actress Jo Joyner stands with several toys that she played with when growing upJo Joyner's support

The campaign is being championed by actress Jo Joyner, formerly Tanya in Eastenders, who left Albert Square to spend more time with her twins Freddie and Edie.

Jo, who is currently playing Meg in Sky Living’s comedy Trying Again, said: 'I have many happy memories from childhood. Walking in the valley I grew up in chatting with my dad, camping in the nearby fields with the girls I grew up with. One of my favourite memories is making daisy chains with my mum in the meadows at the back of our house, deep in the Oxfordshire countryside. It was an idyllic childhood.

'Having children of my own has brought home how important it is that everyone gets a fair start in life. That’s why I’m encouraging people to do their bit this summer by holding a Big Summer Do, to help The Children’s Society support disadvantaged children.'

Matthew Reed, Chief Executive of The Children’s Society, said: 'Every day children up and down this country experience poverty or neglect. We are determined to make sure that every child has the best possible chance in life. Money raised from Big Summer Dos will go towards our work to support the country’s most disadvantaged children and young people. Let’s all bring childhood back this summer.'

To make organising events easier people can order and download a range of free resources such as invitations, activity ideas and make-your-own bunting at www.childrenssociety.org.uk/bigsummerdo. It is hoped that a wave of Big Summer DOs all over the country will raise thousands for disadvantaged children.


Media enquiries

For more information please call The Children’s Society’s media team on 020 7841 4422 or email media@childrenssociety.org.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries please call 07810 796 508.

Notes to editors

One Poll surveyed 1,000 adults across England in May 2013.

Jo Joyner is currently filming an episode of The Murdoch Mysteries, a detective series set in the 1900s and will also feature in a new BBC crime series The Interceptor to be screened in August on BBC One.

The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.