Star of CBeebies Molly and Mack, James Mackenzie, has paid a visit to Robin House in Balloch to launch Teddy Bears Picnic, which takes place throughout the summer - encouraging nurseries, families, businesses and community groups to get involved in the nationwide fundraiser for CHAS.
Mackenzie, who became a cult TV figure with his role in youth challenge gameshow Raven, is the charity's 2019 ambassador for the annual drive. From Aberdeen to Gretna Green, events are already planned all over the country, which he hopes will inspire others to do the same. The Scottish actor is also embarking on a gruelling Saharan trek for CHAS this October (those wishing to sponsor his pilgrimage can do so via his JustGiving page).
James said: "I am a very proud advocate of CHAS and enjoyed a heartening visit to Robin House, meeting children, families, staff and volunteers who are all united by the common cause of making the absolute most of their time.
"I'm especially pleased to be an ambassador for their latest fundraiser. Who didn't love a teddy bears picnic when they were younger? Let's keep the tradition and fun going this July and either throw one for your kids or encourage your nursery or school to get involved.
"If you, your little ones and their furry friends hold one in support of CHAS, you will help Keep the Joy Alive for families all across Scotland and create special memories they can treasure forever. Get in touch for a support pack … and as Raven would no doubt say, let the Teddy Bear's Picnic….begin!"
As part of One Great Day - a series of family fun days for charities around the UK - Gretna Gateway Outlet Village will host one of the first Teddy Bears Picnics of the year for CHAS on 30 June, from 10am to 4pm. The day will feature a teddy bears trail, cookie making, raffles, competitions, build-a-bear and of course a teddy bear storytime.
Elsewhere, on the west coast, iPlay in Clydebank will host a Teddy Bears Picnic on 5 July, with Glasgow Fort and Jungle Madness in Kilmarnock throwing their own on 8 July and 10 July respectively. Union Square in Aberdeen will host a Teddy Bear Hunt on Wednesday 10 July. Affinity Sterling Mills in Tillicoultry will host a Teddy Bears Picnic on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July, featuring crafts, storytelling, dress up and games for kids, with hundreds of prizes to be won.
On Wednesday 24 July, Kidz Town in Stirling will throw a rooftop picnic, where children will have a visit from their own teddy bear mascot. Dunfermline's Kingsgate Shopping Centre will host a teddy
bear hunt around the town on 7 September. Many more events are to be announced in the coming weeks.
Lyndsay Stobie, Community Fundraiser for CHAS, said: "Whether it's playing games in the garden with family or having a treasure hunt with nursery buddies, the Teddy Bears Picnic is a marvellous way to reflect on a crucial part of what CHAS is here for - making precious memories with the ones we love - while raising money to help us on that mission.
"As a children's charity we're delighted to support Teddy Bears Picnics, enabling families of all shapes and sizes to spend quality time together whilst providing vital support to other families across Scotland."
If you want to fond out more or wish to take part please email email@example.com for a fundraising pack.
Also supporting the fundraiser are family entertainment sensations, Funbox, who have been staunch advocates for the charity over the years. The popular Scottish troupe are planning a special appearance for the benefit of children and families visiting Rachel House in Kinross early next month.