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United Kingdom

UK’s Queen Elizabeth II honours ‘Change for Good’ programme

© Newscast/David Devins
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore helps Queen Elizabeth unveil British Airways' new 'Change for Good' plane

LONDON, 7 May 2004 – ‘Change for Good,’ the successful fundraising partnership between British Airways and UNICEF, received royal support today when the United Kingdom’s Queen Elizabeth II visited Heathrow Airport to honour the 10th anniversary of the programme.

During the last ten years ‘Change for Good’ has raised over 17 million pounds (30 million dollars) from donations of loose change made by British Airways customers.  The money from this programme has been applied in more than 50 developing countries to support UNICEF’s work in improving the lives of children.

To mark the anniversary, Queen Elizabeth unveiled an aircraft dedicated to celebrating 10 years of ‘Change for Good’ and met with staff from British Airways and UNICEF who have been instrumental to the success of the partnership.

When at first the red curtain did not open, The Queen was gallantly assisted by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Sir Roger Moore who gave the curtain a quick tug.  Eventually the curtains opened when the button was pressed again.

Sir Roger, who is perhaps best known for his acting role as Agent 007 in the James Bond films, said afterwards: "I wasn't meant to be up there but James Bond has got to do something!"

The Boeing 747, called Change for Good, will carry the logo of the partnership to destinations around the world, along with messages of thanks from the thousands of children who have benefited from the programme.

The Queen was hosted by British Airways Chairman Lord Marshall, President of UNICEF UK Lord Puttnam, and Sir Roger Moore.

“We are delighted and honoured that Her Majesty The Queen has recognized the ‘Change for Good’ programme in this way. The success of ‘Change for Good’ is a great achievement for British Airways and for UNICEF. Over these ten years the programme has made an enormous difference to thousands of children across the world,” said Lord Puttnam.

© Newscast/David Devins
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassadors Sir Roger Moore and Lord Puttnam pose with British Airways staff and South African teenagers who have benefitted from the 'Change for Good' programme

Sir Roger Moore added: “It’s amazing to think that 17 million pounds has been raised from the spare change in people’s pockets. I have visited many UNICEF projects made possible by ‘Change for Good’ and I have seen with my own eyes how children’s lives have been transformed through these donations.”

Lord Marshall said: “People at British Airways have embraced all that ‘Change for Good’ stands for. We look forward to another ten years of raising money for the world’s most vulnerable children.”

The cabin crew on board British Airways flights are integral to the success of ‘Change for Good,’ encouraging passengers to make donations of loose change.  Many of these ‘Change for Good Champions’ have visited the projects around the world, spending time with the children who benefit from the donations.

Last month, on April 13, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan met British Airways Chief Executive Rod Eddington and UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy in New York to mark the anniversary and thank British Airways staff for their support. (see full report and video)

Highlights of British Airways’ Change for Good’s contribution to UNICEF include:

  • Rebuilding a dilapidated primary school in Nigeria, including furnishing classrooms, providing toilets, running water and supplying teaching materials for the 3,000 pupils (see video)

  • Sponsoring a national immunization campaign in Zambia, making it possible to immunize over 1.2 million children against polio

  • Donating a total of one million pounds to UNICEF work in Mexico City since 1994. The latest donation of 150,000 pounds supports the protection of street children in the city

  • Supporting UNICEF’s vital emergency work in India, El Salvador, Kosovo, Iraq and Iran

  • In 2004 Change for Good will support an HIV education project in India, teaching children about all aspects of HIV/AIDS and encouraging them to spread awareness in their communities.



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