Real Advent Calendar raises £18,000 for children's charity

Bishop Tim Thornton with the Real Advent Calendar

An Advent Calendar that broke the commercial mould by telling the story of the birth of Jesus has raised nearly £18,000 for The Children's Society.

The Real Advent Calendar was the first to give away a free copy of the Christmas story with every purchase.

Ten pence from each calendar sold was donated to The Children's Society, which works with disadvantaged children in England.

It was created by The Meaningful Chocolate Company, which makes the Real Easter Egg, the only Easter egg on sale in UK supermarkets telling the real meaning of the festival on its packaging.

David Marshall, director of The Meaningful Chocolate Company said: "Following on from our Real Easter Egg, we wanted to produce a calendar more meaningful than the usual one you find in shops.

"We wanted to increase the sale of Fairtrade chocolate, make the Christmas story accessible to more people and support The Children's Society.

"We are delighted to have achieved all three. We had hoped to raise £5,000. In the end we donated nearly £18,000."

Bishop Tim Thornton, chair of the trustees for The Children's Society, said: "Support for the Real Advent Calendar has been fantastic and I'm pleased that children all over the country were able to enjoy a fresh telling of the Christmas story. The money raised will help the society support children across the country who are living in poverty or are being neglected, ensuring they get the best start in life."

The calendar was part of the Christmas Starts with Christ campaign to increase awareness of the Christmas story and was sold in Tesco stores.

The Meaningful Chocolate Company is already working on a "new and improved" Real Advent Calendar for Christmas 2014, which will include a new range of chocolate shapes.

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