Ham&High’s Pigs4Kids campaign raises nearly £25,000 for Swiss Cottage school

Florence Richards, five, Lev Fox, four, Kristina Ivaniskin, five, and James Ellis, four, with charit

Florence Richards, five, Lev Fox, four, Kristina Ivaniskin, five, and James Ellis, four, with charity boxes. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

Last October the Ham&High launched our Pigs4Kids campaign calling on readers to support the cutting-edge work of Swiss Cottage School Development and Research Centre.

The campaign set the challenge of raising £60,000 to cover the running costs of the school’s state-of-the-art Development and Research Centre, in Avenue Road, Swiss Cottage.

The innovative centre is used to train the next generation of leading special needs teachers and conducts vital educational research alongside world-leading authorities in the field.

We asked you to pick up a pink Pigs4Kids piggy bank and stuff it full of cash, and many readers - including children - have responded with great generosity.

Since its launch, the campaign has raised just over £24,000. But the fundraising continues.

Ahead of the first anniversary of the Pigs4Kids’ launch, reporter TIM LAMDEN looks back on key moments in the campaign so far.

Hampstead Hill backs Pigs4Kids

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Hampstead Hill School, in Pond Street, Hampstead, adopted some Pigs4Kids piggy banks and pledged its support for the campaign shortly after the launch in October. It was the first school to back the campaign and raised an impressive £1,200 by February.

Pigs4Kids at Starbox

Coffee shop Starbox, located next to the Ham&High’s office, became the first local business to back the Pigs4Kids campaign. The shop, in Finchley Road, has kept a Pigs4Kids piggy bank on its counter ever since.

Gove picks up a piggy bank

Education secretary Michael Gove became the campaign’s first high-profile backer, adopting his own Pigs4Kids piggy bank at the annual Hampstead and Kilburn Conservatives dinner in November. He said: “I think it’s fantastic that the Ham&High is campaigning to ensure that children with special needs receive the support they deserve.”

Hollywood meets Pigs4Kids

American actor and director Kevin Spacey pledged his support for the campaign in January after meeting the Pigs4Kids founder and chairman Marsha Lee.

Rule Britannia

A group of friends threw a special Rule Britannia-themed party for 600 revellers in February, raising £15,000 for Pigs4Kids - the largest single donation to date. The party required guests to don costumes related to all things British and the impressive amount was raised through donations from guests.

The summer fete and Niamh

Last month, Swiss Cottage School hosted a summer fete which raised £2,000 for Pigs4Kids. July also saw the addition of another celebrity backer, as West End star Niamh Cusack threw her support behind the campaign.