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We work with Save the Children and ITV Daybreak in Ethiopia

Mon, 03 Mar 2014 00:00:00 GMT

One million babies die every year within 24 hours of their birth because of lack of basic healthcare and a major new campaign by Save the Children is aiming to halve that tragic total.  Every year 40 million women give birth without trained help and in some countries only one in 10 women receive assistance during labour.

Kate GarrawayA new Save the Children report, ‘Ending Newborn Deaths’, for the first time shows the huge scale of the worldwide crisis for new born babies.

The report states that premature birth and complications during childbirth, such as prolonged labour, pre-eclampsia and infection, are causing high mortality rates, but more than half of these deaths could be prevented if every woman and baby had access to trained health care workers.  In addition a further 1.2 million babies are stillborn each year.

To highlight these problems, TV News London’s broadcast PR expert and TV producer, Malcolm Douglas, visited Ethiopia in February together with ITV Daybreak presenter, Kate Garraway. She reported on ITV Daybreak about the problems that Ethiopian mothers face which are among the worst in the world with 28,000 babies dying within 24 hours of birth every year.  

TV News London works with Save the Children as part of the UK PR team helping to achieve worldwide publicity for the charity’s Newborns Campaign which is aimed putting pressure on Governments to provide basic medical care for mothers and babies so that a trained midwife can be present at every birth.

Other coverage secured by Malcolm included a double page spread in the Mirror newspaper in which Kate wrote about how her visit had affected her. Here is a short extract from her article:

‘In a village I met Asamenech Hamid, who was just 18 but had already become pregnant three times.  She became pregnant aged 11 and lost her first two babies when she went into labour as she walked to her parents’ home for help.  

“Such prolonged labour, a result of not having services nearby, is a major cause of death for mums and children.  When she finally got medical help through a Save the Children-backed centre, Asamenech had her third baby safe and sound, and now encourages all mums to push for the help they need.’

Together with Save the Children staff, Malcolm and Kate travelled for 8 hours by road from the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, to the city of Dessie, where one hospital serves seven million people and has only 2 gynecologists.  “The care provided is so basic that when they run out of beds, they have to deliver babies on the floor” Malcolm says.

“They simply do not have the medical expertise, staff, and basic resources and facilities we take for granted in Britain” he added. “That’s why Save the Children is now calling on world leaders to commit to a blueprint for change which would start to provide these basic resources in order to prevent the deaths of newborn babies.”

“The scale of the problem was obvious when we visited another hospital in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.  In the intensive care unit,  the few cots they have  the sides taped up with old cardboard boxes. These are the only thing they have available to help keep the vulnerable new born babies warm. There are no incubators – staff make do by putting old plug-in radiators between the cots.  So, even if the babies survive the birth, they are at serious risk of dying in their first few hours.”

“At another maternity facility, the Kelalla Health Clinic in the remote Kelalla district of Amhara, there is one male midwife looking after up to 25,000 women and they don’t have enough hygienic mattresses for every woman in labour. Things are very tough for mothers in Ethiopia.”

ITV Daybreak: The harsh reality about Ethiopian babies
Link to Daily Mirror article

Visit the Save the Children website for more info

Photographer's Credit

Jiro Ose/Save the Children


Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce – Media Training Workshop

Wed, 26 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT

Have you ever wondered if you can handle TV interviews professionally on behalf of your organisation? Members of the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce got the chance to find out when TV News London ran an introductory half day Media Training Workshop for the Chamber in February 2104.

The workshop was run by Roz Morris, TV News London’s Managing Director, and hosted at his offices in the City of London by the Chamber President, Robert Brant, Managing Partner at Canadian lawyers, McCarthy Tetrault.  

TV News London Media Training WorkshopFollowing a briefing by Roz on worldwide media and advice on preparing and delivering effective TV interviews, all attendees had the chance to practise TV studio interviews.  They were interviewed by Roz and filmed by TV cameraman David Savva, who sent each of the attendees a video file of their interview after the course.

Nigel Bacon, Executive Director of the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce, who observed the course, said: “Roz gave excellent and clear advice on what is required to give an effective interview on TV.  This was a very useful exercise and one which we will look at running again for our members.”

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Visit the website for more information about the Canada-UK Chamber of Commerce:



McCarthy Tetrault

Established in 1987, McCarthy Tétrault’s London office is among the largest offices of any Canadian law firm in Europe. The office actively advises clients from around the globe on English law transactions and projects and also provides advice on Canadian legal matters.


Roz Chairs First ITTP Conference

Tue, 25 Feb 2014 00:00:00 GMT

Concern is growing in the TV industry about a shortage of technically skilled people for TV production and in January a new body – the Institute for Training in Television Production (ITTP) – held its first conference, organised by the publishers of TV-Bay magazine.

Chaired by Roz Morris, TV News London’s Managing Director, who has long experience of working as a TV news reporter and presenter for many years, the conference was held at Pinewood studios in Buckinghamshire, and was attended by more than a 100 people across the television production industry, including TV camera operators, technicians, engineers, university lecturers, representatives of manufacturers, and senior training executives from the BBC, SKY,ITV, and Creative Skillset.

Roz pointed out Roz Morrisin her introduction that the latest Government figures, published in January 2014, reveal that UK creative industries, including the film, television and music industries, are now worth more than £70 billion a year to the UK economy, providing 1.68 million jobs, and making up 5.6% of all UK jobs.  In addition, according to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, UK creative industries grew by almost 10% in 2012, outperforming all other sectors of UK industry.

As the Chair of ITTP, freelance lighting cameraman Graham Reed, opened the conference with a hardhitting keynote speech. He painted a bleak picture of the skills that current media technology courses are teaching.  He recalled a recent lighting job on which he gave experience to third-year students.  “I asked them ‘the 13A question’: what current can you draw from a domestic circuit?” he recalled. “I asked them about amps, and got the distinct impression that they had no idea. Their ideas of wiring up a 13A plug made me very scared.

“Young people want to direct music videos, but they have no idea of counting bars or musical notation. Students do not seem to know anything about logarithms, even though we see and hear in log scales. How did this happen?” 

If they are lacking in core technical skills, he also felt they were missing artistic sensibilities too. “If I ask camera students who their favourite artist or photographer is, they look at me blankly,” he said.  He added that when he had been a young camera operator he had been told to “make every shot a Rembrandt.”

In the conference first session, discussion of this theme continued with focus on skills that employers currently need. Both Chris Owen, head of cameras at ITV, and Douglas Fletcher, operations director at CTV, one of Europe’s largest independent outside broadcast  companies,  said they did take new graduates, but they saw them very much as trainees who need considerable further work before they can be useful to their new employers.

Owen said that he received applicants from students who had identified studio multi-camera operations as their ITTP conference 2014future, who had never been inside a studio. “We have 3000 people a week as audiences in The London Studios, Why have they not done that? This is something I criticise the universities for.”

To help, ITV Studios runs a six week summer placement scheme, providing two weeks with cameras, sound and lighting. They typically get 200 – 300 applications for around 12 places.

At CTV Fletcher recruits around nine students a year from around 120 applications, for those who want to work in outside broadcasts. “This is expensive for us,” he said. “We can’t send them out as engineers, and we get no money from our clients for them.”

Peter Leverick, now running the New Leaf Academy as an alternative training route for camera operators, raised another issue, that having the individual skills is not enough. “They need to know about teamwork, and they need to know how to deal with performers, in a diplomatic but positive way.” Training in these skills was not prioritised at universities.  

This led on to a discussion of the role of universities in training.  With some heads of department from the more active universities in the room there was, unsurprisingly, enthusiasm for degree courses.  But on the other hand, many voices – who would perhaps accept the description “old school professionals” – wanted to see much more vocational training with less a focus on academic dissertations and 3 year degree courses and more on shorter more practical training courses.

ITTP Conference 2014Ralph Tribe from Sky said: “We have come out very firmly in favour of apprenticeships and vocational training. If the debate is about employability, we think apprenticeships are the best solution.  For us, it is about competing in a market where there are not enough skills to go around. That is a pretty exciting place to be.”

One of the most interesting aspects of the day was that the technical operations were provided by Kingston University, and many of the student crew joined in the debate. By the end of the day it was clear that there was no resolution to this debate, which will run and run.

A second major strand to the debate was a lively discussion about the value of Creative Skillset and its accreditation of some television training degree courses. According to Dinah Caine, the Creative Skillset CEO, the body has “moved away from recognising institutions as a whole to accrediting individual courses. Out of the 4000 courses which are relevant to the creative industries, we have accredited 166, of which 68 are relevant to television.”

Ultimately, the value of accreditation at present is a guide to the better courses, the academic programmes that have some value to the world of work. Dinah Caine, added “I think it is incredibly important that students get signposted into courses that will be relevant to future employment. Creative Skillset accreditation is now a part of formal student information packs.”

Anne Morrison of BBC Academy made the point even more starkly: “I feel very sorry for some people who have spent £9000 a year for three years on a degree that is not worth very much. We have to be involved in universities and accreditation.”

While the old days of almost everyone in the TV production industry going through BBC Wood Norton Training  Centre at some stage in their career have long gone, Morrison was keen to emphasise that the BBC is still “the industry trainer”.  “We delivered something like 50,000 days of training last year, and our websites are open access to people outside the BBC,” she said. “The philosophy of the BBC Academy is to share our knowledge with the wider industry because we are all dependent upon a mobile workforce.”

ITTP Conference 2014The point was also made that work experience can help to bridge the expectations gap between students at university and employers. As Doug Fletcher of CTV said, “a 30 camera outside broadcast is a big eye opener for students.”

For the BBC, Anne Morrison said “we have about 1500 people a year come in on work experience. This is limited to four weeks. Work experience can be abused, and we are leading the way in stamping this out. Creative Skillset has brought out a set of guidelines on the law and work experience.”

The conference heard that Sunset + Vine has taken on a group of apprentices for its 2014 Commonwealth Games coverage. However while work experience was seen as an important part of the process, the point was also made that the tools today are so inexpensive that cost is rarely a barrier.

David G Croft, one of our most successful light entertainment directors and now a lecturer at the National Film and Television School, said “You want to be a director – make some films! Film your mum making breakfast and work up. If you want to be successful in the television industry, then you have to go for it.”

After a day debating skills shortages, it was clear that opening up the lines of communication on all sides of the industry is vital. The ITTP is seeking further clarification in what the industry wants and what universities and other training bodies can deliver as practical steps for the future.  As chairman Graham Reed said in his summing up, “By improving training we can improve the profitability of the British television industry. This conference is about making it happen.”



For more information on ITTP visit here

Christmas Jumper Day 2013

Fri, 13 Dec 2013 00:00:00 GMT

More than one point six million people signed up to help Save the Children to raise money for the charity on Christmas Jumper Day, Friday 13 December 2013.  

TV News London’s Malcolm Douglas was part of the Save the Children team gaining widespread publicity in newspapers and on radio and TV for Christmas Jumper Day, which is also supported by the Prime minister’s wife Samantha Cameron, TV Presenter Myleene Klass, and actress Julie Walters, as well as by numerous endorsements on Twitter including Sir Richard Branson and Channel Four news presenter Jon Snow  - all wearing Christmas jumpers and supporting the campaign slogan ‘Make the world better with a sweater.’  

The charity also organised a world record attempt at Westfield shopping centre in West London for the most people dancing in Christmas jumpers. The dance routine was led by choreographer Arlene Phillips and featured on Sky News and Channel 5.  

TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris, (pictured left) wore her own Christmas jumper all day. “The best thing I can  say about this jumper is that its real wool and it’s lovely and warm” says Roz. “ However I think it’s fair to add that my jumper is not ironic and in fashion,  it’s just spectacularly awful and I have to point out that I did not choose it myself.  It was, of course, as with so many Christmas jumpers, given to me some years ago, but it still feels like new as it has had very little wear.  So I’m very glad that I can use it in a good cause.” 

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries worldwide and all money raised from Christmas Jumper Day activities will help save the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children. In the world's poorest countries, more than 7 million children die every year from easily preventable causes like diarrhoea and malnutrition and simple solutions, like vaccines and mosquito nets supplied by Save the Children save lives.


Save the Children link


Freedom of the City of London

Mon, 28 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT

TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris has received the Freedom of the City of London.  Roz was awarded the honour in October 2013 in a ceremony at the Chamberlain’s Court in the Guildhall , the headquarters of the City of London Corporation.

She was awarded her certificate by Murray Craig, Clerk of the Chamberlain's Court, pictured left with Roz and the Court Beadle. Roz is proudly displaying her framed copy of her freedom certificate after she had made the Declaration of a Freeman in front of an audience of her family and friends.

The Freedom of the City is one of the oldest surviving traditional English ceremonies and is believed to date back to 1237 when the term ‘freeman’ denoted someone who was not the property of a feudal lord.  From the Middle Ages onwards the Freedom was the right to trade enabling members of a Guild or Livery Company to carry out their trade or craft in the Square Mile.  

In 1835 the Freedom was widened to include not just members of Livery Companies but also people living or working in the City or with a strong London connection.  Roz is a freeman of the livery company, the Worshipful Company of Marketors, and therefore was eligible to apply for the Freedom of the City. The award of the Freedom to her was approved by the Court of Aldermen of the City of London Corporation.

Each freedom ceremony is tailored to the professional interests of each freeman and, since Roz’s work is in journalism, broadcasting, marketing and public relations, Clerk Murray Craig gave a very interesting talk about media luminaries who have received the Freedom. These included Sir Terry Wogan, Sir Bob Geldof, Sir Nicholas Parsons and Sir Henry Morton Stanley, the journalist who made his name in 1871 by finding the missionary David Livingstone in 1871 in what is now called Tanzania and was then known as ‘Darkest Africa’.

He also highlighted other famous people who have received the Freedom of the City including politicians  Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela and Helmut Kohl among many others.  Before 1996, the Freedom was only available to British and Commonwealth citizens but it is now open to people of any nationality. Roz and her audience then left for lunch at nearby Davys at Woolgate Brasserie where Sally Muggeridge, the Master of the Worshipful Company of Marketors, led the event with the traditional toast to Roz  as the youngest (i.e. the newest) Freeman of the City of London.

“This was a terrific day and I feel really privileged to have the Freedom of the City of London,” Roz says. “I joined the Marketors as a Freeman 2007 and I wish I had applied sooner for the Freedom.  I kept putting it off because of pressures of work and difficulties with many of my family living outside London. However this year I was determined to do it and I am so glad that I did.” 

“It was an amazing and unforgettable  day for me with my own special individual ceremony at the Guildhall witnessed by my family and friends, followed by a splendid celebratory lunch nearby.”

For more info see the City of London Corporation website.  

Women of the Year Lunch 2013

Fri, 25 Oct 2013 00:00:00 GMT

TV News London’s Managing Director, Roz Morris, attended this year’s Women of the Year Lunch at the InterContinental Hotel in London’s Park Lane, along with more than 400 other women of achievement from a huge range of backgrounds.  Illustrating that, Roz is pictured (Right) with ITV Daybreak presenter, Ranvir Singh, and with June Turvey (87) who plays the piano for a regular weekly sing song every week at the Duke of Kendal  pub  near Marble Arch in Central London.  

Roz is a member of the Nominating Council of  the Women of the Year Lunch and has previously been in charge of the PR for the Lunch. 

Roz’s table at the Lunch also included two of the Ford  Dagenham equal pay strikers from the 1970’s.  Pamela Brown and Sheila Douglass are pictured holding their Women of the Year Lunch Award.  The Women of the Year Lunch was founded in 1955 by the late Tony Lothian OBE, Odette Hallowes & Lady Georgina Coleridge to celebrate women’s achievements. This  year’s Lunch & Awards, which was compered by Sandy Toksvig,   is sponsored by Barclays, Good Housekeeping, Sacla’ and ITV’s Lorraine. This year marks the 59th annual lunch.

The 2013 Women of the Year Award winners are:

Andrea Coleman, Riders for Health co-founder, wins the Women of the Year Award sponsored by Barclays

Andrea co-founded the international social enterprise Riders for Health in 1990 with Barry Coleman. Since then Andrea has been a driving force behind the organisation’s work revolutionizing African transport infrastructure and health systems.

FGM campaigner Waris Dirie wins the Women of the Year Campaigning Award 2013 sponsored by Sacla’

Waris, who was herself the victim of genital mutilation at the age of five, founded the Desert Flower Foundation in 2002 to fight against the worldwide practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) and provide support for its victims. She is the author of five international bestsellers, including Desert Flower, which tells her own life story and have also served to bring the atrocity of FGM into public and political consciousness

Dagenham Women Machinists win the Good Housekeeping Women of the Year Outstanding Achievement Award 2013

At the Women of the Year Lunch to accept the award were eight women who took part in the strikes for equal pay and recognition of skill that took place in 1968, and again in 1984-5, at the Ford car plant in Dagenham, Essex. These were: Vera Sime (83), Eileen Pullen (84), Gwen Davis (81), Sheila Douglass (77), Dora Challingsworth (74), Pamela Brown (59), Sarah Kavia (60) and Bharti Patel (64)

ITV’s Lorraine Inspirational Woman of the Year Award has been won – on a viewers’ vote – by Marilyn Baldwin for her Think Jessica anti scamming campaign. The charity helps old and vulnerable people in the UK who are the potential victims of postal and telephone scams. Named after her Mum Jessica, who was a victim of scammers, the initiative is supported by the local community and local police.

The Awards presentation also featured a short video interview with Malala Yousafzai, who congratulated all 450 women in the room for being women of the year in their own right.  Speaking about education as the route to equality, she said: “My dream is to see equality in the world, to see every girl educated; especially in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria, Nigeria and India where they are suffering from terrorism, from violence. Women are very powerful, but they need education to go forward. In my opinion, every woman deserves a Women of the Year Award.”

President of Women of the Year, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, said: “One year on from that near fatal shooting, Malala has been the recipient of many great honours and awards. Instead we wanted to celebrate her campaigning work and to champion her call for pens and books to be ‘the weapons that defeat terrorism’; so today I am pleased to announce that the Women of the Year Foundation will be making a donation to support girls’ education in Pakistan.”

There were many familiar faces amongst the attendees, with guests including actresses Olivia Colman, Maureen Lipman, Sally Phillips and Sheila Hancock CBE; writer and Children’s Laureate Malorie Blackman OBE; television presenters Lorraine Kelly OBE and Fern Britton; The Everydaysexism Project Founder Laura Bates; TV presenter and journalist Baroness Joan Bakewell OBE.

Helena Kennedy said: “The Women of the Year Lunch is a truly special event, an uplifting and joyous celebration of the women who are making a difference every day to the world around them.

“From the astonishing bravery of Waris Dirie, to the incredible self-belief of the Dagenham women and the extraordinary vision of Andrea Coleman – our winners demonstrate the myriad qualities and talents that women possess, and embody the vast scope of women’s achievements.

“Their triumphs, dedication and passion are an inspiration to women everywhere, encouraging us all to fulfil our ambitions, support others and stand up for what we believe in.”

The winners were selected by a judging panel. Both the President and the Chair of Women of the Year, Baroness Kennedy and Teresa Graham, were joined by a terrific line-up of judges including: Ann Cotton OBE, Founder and President of Camfed and former Women of the Year award winner; Rt Hon Dame Tessa Jowell, MP for Dulwich and West Norwood; Nicola Mendelsohn, VP EMEA at Facebook and Dianne Thompson, Group CEO, Camelot.



Sunrise Royal Baby Coverage

Fri, 19 Jul 2013 00:00:00 GMT

Sunrise - Australia's most popular breakfast TV show – are in London again broadcasting live every day on the lead up to the royal baby birth, and TV News London has helped set up many of their guest interviews for lives and pre-recorded packages.  

Sunrise presenter Mel Doyle - seen here above at the home of Margaret Tyler the Uk's biggest collector of royal memorabilia.

Sunrise Royal baby CoverageTV News London has also set up location shoots at many of the stores visited by the Duchess of Cambridge as she prepared for the birth.

TV News London managing director Roz Morris said:"This is the second time we have worked with Channel seven the first being the royal wedding of Kate and William. "As well as setting up interviews and locations we have also kept the programme informed of other developments as the story developed"

Sunrise producer Kate Mazzolo in London for the story says "We couldn't have done this without TV News London".

Sunrise Royal baby To watch some of the interview features please click the links below:

Meet the biggest Royal collector video

Royal baby inspires Retail Frenzy

Life as the Royal Photographer

Inside the Royal nursery

ITV Daybreak Covers the IF Campaign in Sierra Leone

Mon, 17 Jun 2013 00:00:00 GMT

TV News London’s Broadcast PR expert Malcolm Douglas, working for the IF Campaign and Save the Children, travelled to Sierra Leone with ITV Daybreak  presenter, Ranvir Singh, to film in the slums of Freetown and in rural villages four hours drive from the capital.  

Ranvir Sierra LeoneRanvir’s reports from Sierra Leone aired on Daybreak on the first and second days of the G8 Summit in Northern Ireland.   The programme described Sierra Leone as ‘The worst place in the world to be a mum’ where one in five children die before their fifth birthday and life expectancy is just 47 years.  

More than half the country’s population live on less than 65 pence a day and Ranvir’s reports included interviews with mothers and children who have to work on rubbish dumps to make any  living.  

Ranvir Sierra Leone“There are things being done to help people, but the progress is slow,“ Malcolm adds. “Diarrhoea is one of the country’s biggest killers. Half the population doesn’t have access to clean water and Save the Children is working to provide more water pumps and water purification tablets.”

The IF campaign, which is a coalition of more than 200 charities, including Save the Children, argues that the  world has enough food to feed everyone, yet 1 in 8 people do not have enough to eat and this year, world leaders must tackle hunger and save millions of lives.

The IF campaign message is: the G8 can take three big steps towards ending hunger IF they:

  1. Clamp down on tax havens and launch a convention on tax transparency to stop the flow of billions of pounds out of developing countries - money that could be used to end hunger.
  2. Help poor countries make sure that everyone, especially children, have enough nutritious food to eat and support poor families to grow their own food.
  3. Give people in developing countries more control over their land by protecting poor farmers from land grabs and using land to grow food not fuel.

Watch the story on ITV Daybreak:

Day one - Ranvir Visits Sierra Leone

Day Two - Sierra Leone Day Two

New - Confidence Coaching With TV News London

Fri, 15 Mar 2013 00:00:00 GMT

Are fear and lack of confidence holding you back?  Many people have a fear of public speaking, making presentations and giving media interviews.  In fact speaking in public comes up consistently in surveys as one of the commonest fears.   It’s right up there with fears of heights, spiders and flying. 

Alongside our public speaking and presentation training courses, for the first time, TV News London is now providing Confidence Coaching. So, if you have fears that are holding you back from speaking in public, we can help you to increase your confidence and release your true potential as a communicator with TV News London’s new Confidence Coaching sessions.

These individual sessions are run by Executive Voice and Communications Coach, Louise Collins, who works on breathing and visualisation exercises to reduce nerves and adrenalin and increase confidence.  Louise also uses NLP - Neuro Linguistic Programming - as part of the training.   Each trainee is expected to work on exercises between coaching sessions so that their improvement will be steady and permanent.

Results from this training are remarkable as people who have always been very nervous about public speaking – either giving talks or media interviews – are able to speak in public with confidence for the first time in their lives.

"I coach people to find and communicate the best of themselves - even when the pressure is on!” Louise says.  " It’s really rewarding, both for me and for the people I coach, to see the great progress they can make and how communicating effectively can make a huge difference to their confidence and in turn the whole of their lives." 

Areas covered:

  • Body Language

  • Vocal Skills

  • Presence

  • Dynamism

  • Breathing Techniques

  • State Management (controlling physiology and mind)

  • Relaxation

  • Language

To book your Confidence Coaching sessions - Call us at TV News London +44 020 8275 8854 or email us on info@tvnewslondon.co.uk for more information.


Christmas Jumper Day

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 00:00:00 GMT

Malcolm Douglas, TV News London's broadcast PR expert, (pictured above in his Christmas jumper) helped Save the Children to launch their Christmas Jumper Day this morning outside 10 Downing Street. Children from St Nicholas preparatory school in Kensington raised more than £500 by taking part in Save the Children's Christmas Jumper Day, where people wear a festive sweater and donate £1.

Samantha Cameron who was dressed in her own woolly red Christmas jumper, posed outside 10 Downing Street with the children and praised them for raising money for Save The Children and said that they looked amazing in their homemade Christmas jumpers.

Speaking about the day itself, Samantha Cameron said: 'It is a fun and simple way to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children across the world. It is heart-breaking that eight million children under five die each year and I'm proud to support Save the Children's vital work.'

Mrs Cameron's woolly red jumper was bought from the charity's shop and the money donated will help feed children in the world's poorest countries.

This is the first time the charity has used Christmas jumpers to raise money, and 650,000 people across the UK are expected to take part today.

Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive of Save the Children, said: 'We wanted to do something fun that could get everyone up and down the country involved so this seemed perfect.

'It also has a serious purpose which is that we want everyone to raise money by donning a jumper and donating a pound.'

The pupils from St Nicholas school decided to raise money for the charity after hearing about its work.

Armel Esper, 10, said: 'We chose the charity because if the children died early they would not have lived for a long time and we are children so we wanted to save their lives.'

Her classmate Nathan Leon, 10, spoke about meeting Mrs Cameron and said: 'I was quite nervous at first but it went surprisingly well. She was pleased that we had raised the money for the charity.'