Kirstie Allsopp Champions Gloucestershire Play Charity


TV presenter, Kirstie Allsopp, champions Gloucestershire play charity for its efforts to support local children during lockdown

The TV presenter is supporting the Charity Champs campaign by the National Emergencies Trust to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of UK charities and groups

TV presenter, Kirstie Allsopp, has met with a Gloucester-based outdoor play charity to hear about its creative response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Play Gloucestershire has been delivering thousands of ‘Bags of Play’ to vulnerable local children to support their mental health during lockdown.


The video chat between Kirstie and Charlie Marsh, a Play Ranger at Play Gloucestershire, was captured as part of a nationwide ‘Charity Champs’ campaign launched by the National Emergencies Trust (NET) this week. Backed by celebrities across the UK, the campaign acknowledges the incredible contribution charities and charitable groups continue to make in their communities responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. 


During their conversation, Charlie tells Kirstie how lockdowns have increased the number of children struggling with anxiety and emotional issues. She shares how her team has been delivering ‘Bags of Play’ to families, which aims to inspire children to get creative at home – and in doing so, help with feelings of anxiety and encourage them to open up.


Charlie says: “Sometimes children will say what’s on their minds because their hands are busy so they are not really thinking about what’s going on.”


Kirstie Allsopp, who recently presented Channel 4 Show, Keep Crafting and Carry On, is visibly moved by the charity’s efforts, which she describes as “not just inspiring but moving”. She says: “When you are busy with your hands it’s almost like your mind is freer. It’s like a form of meditation. The work that you do, while always having been important, has probably never been more important. We’ve got to put children front and centre.”


Play Gloucestershire is one of more than 13,000 projects funded by the National Emergencies Trust’s Coronavirus Appeal since its launch in March 2020 and one of 164 plus, local charities and groups to receive a grant from the Appeal through the Gloucestershire Community Foundation. To-date the National Emergencies Trust’s appeal has raised £97million and nearly £94million of this has reached communities. 


Like Play Gloucestershire, 25% of charities and groups have used funding from the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal to meet the growing demand for mental health and wellbeing support.


The NET Charity Champs campaign is being backed by celebrities from across the UK who are sharing videos and messages of support for charitable efforts on social media using the hashtag #NETCharityChamps. A special compilation video also includes Play Gloucestershire and features Sharon Osborne, Alesha Dixon, Keith Lemon, Miranda Hart, Pixie Lott and others who have all supported the National Emergencies Trust over the last year.


Mhairi Sharp, CEO of the National Emergencies Trust, said: “For nearly a year now people in charities all around the UK have put others’ needs before their own to help those hard-hit by the pandemic. The creativity and compassion they’ve shown in the face of such difficult times is truly inspirational. We wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and thank charity champs like Play Gloucestershire for their efforts and we’re so pleased that Kirstie and others have been keen to join us.”


To watch Kirstie and Charlie’s conversation visit: 


To read and watch more stories about #NETCharityChamps visit: