Do the preparation task first. Then read the article and do the exercises to check your understanding.
Red Nose Day (RND) is a well-known event in the UK. The aim of the day is to raise money for a charity called Comic Relief which helps people in need in Africa and in the UK.
Comic Relief was started in 1985 by the scriptwriter Richard Curtis. He wrote the series Blackadder as well as the famous films Four Weddings and a Funeral and Notting Hill. Richard’s idea to start Comic Relief was a response to the severe famine in Ethiopia. It’s called Red Nose Day as on this day many people buy a plastic red nose to wear! The money made from selling these red noses goes to the charity.
When is RND?
Red Nose Day takes place every two years in the spring and it is now so well established that many people consider it to be an unofficial national holiday. For example, many schools have non-uniform days. To find out when the next Red Nose Day is, check out the official site.
The slogan for the last RND was ‘Do Something Funny for Money’ and the money that was collected helped to fund projects in the following areas: treating malaria, education, maternal health and mental health. The BBC Red Nose Day telethon raised £74.3 million! Money-raising events take place all over the country and many schools participate. People also donate money by post, in banks, by phone using a credit card and online.
Getting sponsored to do something is a common way to raise money on RND. Here are some things people do to raise money:
- Get sponsored to wear your pyjamas all day at work or in school.
- Get sponsored to grow a moustache or beard for a month.
- Ask colleagues or classmates for a donation to wear a red wig for the day.
- Get sponsored to give up chocolate, biscuits or crisps.
Red Nose Day is everywhere
In the evening of Red Nose Day a telethon takes place on the BBC television channels. It shows a selection of the events of the day, as well as lots of comic sketches and reports of how the money raised will be spent. There’s a RND Facebook page and you can follow RND on Twitter. People also upload videos of local charity events on YouTube and Facebook.
So, if you are ever in the UK on Red Nose Day, you’ll know why people are wearing red noses and doing silly things! It’s all for a good cause.
Worksheets and downloads
Have you ever raised money for charity? What did you do and how much money did you raise?