Call centre team will join Pudsey’s big push

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Those that decide to dig deep and pledge cash to Children In Need during the annual television fundraiser could end up speaking to someone at a Hemel Hempstead holiday firm.

Haven Holidays in Park Lane has been chosen as one of the BBC charity’s call centres and around 75 staff will give their time for free to take calls from people donating cash. Their family members will also be invited in and Pudsey – the iconic Children in Need mascot – will be making an appearance.

The holiday company will shut down its own busy phone lines, which people call to book breaks away, from 6pm on Friday, November 16 to concentrate on pledges of much needed funds.

Staff there will be operating 50 phone lines and among those picking up calls until 2.30am the following morning will be chief executive John Dunford, financial director Jane Bentall and director Sean Power.

Haven chose Children In Need as its charity for the year in May and aims to raise £100,000 over the 12-month period.

Spokesman Naomi Woodstock said: “We probably get anything between 50 and 60 requests every week from people asking us to support different charities.”

They selected Children In Need because the cause gives support to lots of other smaller charities. “They do anything from small individual grants to bigger projects,” said Naomi.

The BBC will not be filming at the call centre on the big night, but Haven will be creating its own video, which will be posted on the BBC website.

Naomi said; “Everyone is so excited.”

Before the big night, Haven will be running Pudsey’s Pop Up Bakery in Marlowes Shopping Centre on Friday, November 2 from 11am to 3pm.