Shelter drafts in Kidston to bolster fundraising activity

Shelter, the national homelessness charity, is to sell exclusive merchandise created by designer Cath Kidston as part of its latest fundraising initiative.

A specially commissioned range of key rings will be sold through the UK's 12,000 estate agents and 250 house builders, as well as a dedicated microsite.

The key rings, which are the first merchandise to have been produced for the charity, will be priced £3 each.

The 'Raise the roof' campaign is being launched in conjunction with property portal whathouse.co.uk.

It is hoped that the year-long activity, which marks the first time the charity has worked with the portal, will raise £1m.

The work is being supported by a microsite at raisetheroof.co.uk, created by digital agency Fuse8.

Prospective donors will be driven to the site by a six-week radio campaign run on Virgin Radio that will be fronted by TV presenter and Shelter brand ambassador Tess Daly.

Shelter's activities include lobbying government and providing a free housing-rights advice line. The charity helps about 100,000 people a year to find housing or to remain in their existing accommodation.

Two years ago it launched the 'Million children' campaign, which called on the government to put an end to poor housing for children.According to Shelter, about one in 12 children is more likely to develop diseases such as bronchitis, tuberculosis and asthma as a consequence of poor housing.

The charity estimates that there are currently 1m substandard homes in the UK, 83% of which are occupied.

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