The Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need is returning to screens for a ninth year this autumn and we’re delighted to announce that Erin, one of our amazing young people, is to be one of the six inspirational youngsters who will be joining Countryfile presenters to encourage the Great British Public to take on a walking challenge.
The Countryfile Ramble special will be broadcast on BBC 1 on Sunday 29th October. In the meantime, here is more information on what it’s all about.
Presenters Matt Baker, Anita Rani, Charlotte Smith and Margherita Taylor will be heading off to various locations across the UK, with an inspirational young person who has been supported by a BBC Children in Need funded project. Together they will take on a ramble challenge and support one another as they take in the sights and activities along the way.
Since the Countryfile Ramble began in 2015, ramblers across the UK have raised more than £14.2million for the charity. This year will see the presenters joined by young people in some of the most stunning spots in Wales, Scotland, England, and Northern Ireland for the 2023 Countryfile Ramble special, which will air on Sunday 29th October.
Matt Baker will be undertaking his ramble in Wales and will be joined by 12-year-old Lily and her 10-year-old friend Isabella. They both had Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) and have been through years of chemotherapy and are now on the road to full recovery. Lily and Isabella have found the treatment and isolation difficult but luckily, Anne, a Play Therapist at Kids Cancer Charity, has been on hand to help. Anne’s role is funded by BBC Children in Need, and she’s been an important support to both girls, lifting their spirits with their favourite activities and providing a listening ear when things get too much.
In Scotland, Anita Rani will be joined by 13-year-old Erin who at six months old, received a liver transplant after a very difficult battle with liver disease. Erin has since had continuous health battles but continues to stay positive along with her family who all love getting outside in the great outdoors together. Erin has continued to live life to the full with the guidance of a BBC Children in Need funded project at the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation. They have provided Erin and her family with information and support throughout her journey and have put her in touch with other young people who live with a liver condition or have had a transplant, so she knows she’s not alone, and they’ve encouraged Erin to take part in sports activities including netball and badminton. This year Erin was selected to represent Team GB in Badminton at the World Transplant Games in Australia and has previously competed in the UK Transplant games.
Margherita Taylor will be rambling with 20-year-old Fionntan, a young man from an isolated and rural village in the South-East of Northern Ireland. Fionntan came out as a teenager to his community and found friendship and acceptance when he joined Crisis Café in nearby Newry. BBC Children in Need funds two mental health practitioners at Crisis Café to help young people facing various challenges. The project has provided Fionntan with the tools he needs to support his overall wellbeing and since attending the project, he now volunteers at Crisis Café and is now on the Board of Directors.
In England, Charlotte Smith will be joined by 7-year-old Joey, who has Cerebral Palsy. Joey has been supported by a BBC Children in Need funded project, STEPS Conductive Education, for most of his young life. Conductive Education helps disabled children to learn functional skills through fun, play and everyday activities to help them improve their mobility. After a privately funded, pioneering and life-changing operation on his legs, followed by months of intense therapy, STEPS Conductive Education have helped Joey to walk independently for the first time.
Meanwhile, John Craven will be catching up with ramblers across the UK who are challenging themselves, and holding their own sponsored rambles to raise money. John will be joined by 15-year-old Cianna, whose mum Hayley set up BBC Children in Need funded youth project, Cianna’s Smile, following Cianna’s diagnosis at the age of 3-days-old with Sickle Cell Anaemia, a serious life-long blood condition. The project raises awareness and supports other families living with the same condition. Since her diagnosis, Cianna has faced various health battles including having her spleen removed at 8-years-old. While Cianna’s health is currently stable with the help of her mum, she enjoys raising awareness of Sickle Cell Anaemia and talking to others who have had similar experiences with the condition.
John will be encouraging people across the UK to take part in their own sponsored rambles to help benefit the lives of children and young people across the nation who are facing a variety of challenges. For information on how to get involved visit the Ramble Hub at https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/shows/countryfile-ramble/
John Craven said: “We’re thrilled to be in our ninth year of Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need. This is always such an exciting time of year for our viewers, and I know they will be supporting the presenters and young people taking on this year’s ramble challenges. Going on a sponsored ramble is a brilliant way to help change the lives of children and young people across the UK for the better – taking part in a ramble is not only good for your wellbeing and physical health but will give projects and local charities the funds they need to give young people a brighter future.”
Tommy Nagra, Director of Content for BBC Children in Need said: “We are delighted that Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need is back. This year we’ll be sharing the stories of some truly incredible children and young people who inspire others and want to make a difference for other youngsters like them in need of support. We hope that the Ramble encourages our supporters to challenge themselves, and get outdoors so that BBC Children in Need can continue funding incredible projects across the nation”
To further support BBC Children in Need this year, Countryfile viewers will be able to purchase the Countryfile Bobble Hat. For every hat purchased 33% of the price will be donated to BBC Children in Need. For more information, please visit: https://www.bbcchildreninneed.co.uk/shows/countryfile-ramble/
The Countryfile Ramble for BBC Children in Need will air on BBC One on Sunday 29th October.