Cartoon characters used to help Kent housing association Golding Homes promote important health and wellbeing issues have now made national headlines as part of a campaign to teach pre-school children about saving money.
The lovable characters in Eddie and Friends animations have already helped youngsters understand the importance of hydration and nutrition and encouraged them to see disability as a normal part of everyday life.
Now Eddie the elephant and his giraffe, parrot and owl friends have achieved national fame with the launch of their latest animation highlighted on BBC Radio 5 Live’s breakfast programme.
The six-minute film, supported by a number of financial big-hitters, is aimed at encouraging pre-school children to understand the importance of saving money from a young age.
It is being distributed free of charge to all pre-schools in the Maidstone area and will be sold nationally, with any profits invested back into producing more Eddie and Friends films.
The film, which introduces Olive the owl for the first time, is expected to be the first in a series of educational videos aimed at boosting children‘s understanding of financial concepts, with a film for Key Stage One youngsters already at the planning stage.
Caroline McBride, Head of Community Development for Golding Homes, said: “As a housing association we are committed to building long-term, sustainable communities and are keen to invest in initiatives that help people improve their prospects and opportunities in life.
“It is important that children learn about saving money as a life skill from a young age, and we’re delighted to be supporting the fifth in the Eddie and Friends series. We believe it will help change attitudes and improve prospects for the next generation.”
The video was the brainchild of Rory Murphy, Chair of Trustees at Ensign, a maritime pension fund, who won the backing of PWC, Baker McKenzie, Willis Towers Watson and MHP Communications, as well as Golding Vision, the community development arm of Golding Homes, and Wellbeing People.
The script was written by Hazlitt Theatre Manager Martin Cleverley, while the animation was created by Moving Image Creations.
“We believe that giving children a better financial education, starting in pre-school and continuing through to adulthood, can only lead to better understanding and decision-making, and so we were delighted to support the project,” said Ben McGannan, Managing Director of Wellbeing People.
The third film in the Eddie and Friends series was entitled Disability Eddie and also won VIP support. Aimed at helping pre-school children understand and normalise disability, it featured Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson as the voice of Tammi the tortoise.