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Star Wars fans show they are a “Force for Good” by raising £250,000 for charity

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Fans from around the UK grabbed their lightsabers and showed off their best Jedi moves and Darth Vader voices as part of a fundraising campaign to raise £250,000 for children’s charities by Santander.

The campaign, organised as part of the partnership between Santander and the UK’s leading children’s charity, saw the bank pledge to be a “Force for Good” and raise up to £250,000 for Barnardo’s to keep supporting hundreds of thousands of vulnerable children and for Together For Short Lives, a charity which supports children with life-threatening and life-limiting conditions.

Also joining in the fun were former F1 World Champion Jenson Button, who filmed a clip with fan favourite droid character BB-8, and Star Wars actor and Barnardo’s supporter Warwick Davis, who also filmed a Star Wars-themed clip to encourage people to take part.

For every Star Wars photo or clip which was uploaded to the dedicated campaign website, Santander donated £25 to each charity. With more than 5,000 entries this meant the bank reached its fundraising target of £125,000 for each charity.

The fun submissions included children defeating “Darth Vadar” with lightsabers, chickens dressed up as Jedis and Storm Troopers defending a goal during a game of football.

Fifteen lucky winners received a Star Wars hamper prize filled with themed goodies, while grand prize winner Simon Tilley, from Trethomas, in Caerphilly, Wales, was thrilled to win a Star Wars inspired trip to Skellig in Ireland, one of the locations featured in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Barnardo’s Chief Executive Javed Khan said:

“It has been fantastic to see how many people got into the spirit of the campaign and submitted videos and photos.

“They have all been brilliant and must have been so much fun to make – I know our staff at Barnardo’s enjoyed filming their submissions.

“The money raised will help us to support thousands of vulnerable children, young people, parents and carers through our 1,000 vital services across the UK.”

Chief Marketing Officer Keith Moor said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to be able to donate an amazing £125,000 to each charity.

“The entries have all been brilliant – they have been so creative and we really hope everyone enjoyed creating them as much as we enjoyed seeing them!

“We know the money raised will go to really worthy causes and will make such a difference to young lives around the UK.”