The Story of the Red Nose Badges

Comic Relief badges

The start

It started with the Playbus helping raise money for good causes, it became much more when local schools and friends got involved. Together we must have raised over £7000 at least through badge making! Phew! AT LEAST!!

The first ‘Comic Relief’ badges we designed were in 1989. They were roughly made and raised £5 for comic relief.

Comic relief badges from 1991Two years later, in 1991, the badges were tidied up and names were added on request. They proved so popular with the local school that, the Playbus went into the play ground and made badges on request.

In 1993 it was 'The Splat Tomato!’ The tomato, from the comic Relief Red nose design, it took a lot of colouring! The last one turned green and hence the tradition of one more. We dressed as clowns and visited the local school making badges with each class!

The colour changing flower design was used on the badge in 1995. Year 2 became involved in data collection as part of their maths work.

‘Licky lollies’, that turned your tongue red in 1997. Badges had gone back to boys and girls but we also needed a badge for any names we were not sure off!

1991 Comic Relief badge1999 it was the colour changing noses that squeaked with a Beep Beep! Maths data collection included work with the Post Office as well as now two local Schools. My class learnt to sing 'Wonderful world' with Alison Moyet and our own signing! We also undertook Maths data handling lesson as well as Literacy role play to experience aspects of disabilities.

The message was ‘Pants to poverty’ in 2001. The event now becoming a tradition it was decided to add the date to the design. Boys and girls again, we may not have been too sure about the ‘Pants’ T-shirt design but as ever a lot of learning fun.

Lots of ‘Red Hair’ in 2003! With help again from schools we continued to collect data; songs and fun! by now the final total I made reached 1500 + and the future aim would be to make 2000!

2005 saw the children in reception joining in with simple counting activities as well as trips delivering badges in the main school using words directional words such as over, under and through. Again we sang ’It’s a wonderful world’.

2007 Comic Relief badgeFor 2007 the boys and girls had chubby cheeky faces and bow ties of bows in their hair. The aim now was to try and make the 2000 badges but we have never quite made this target! The final assembly included joke telling.

With 2009 the message was ‘Doing Something funny for the money!’ Working out maths problems; reading the daily tally to find the on-going totals as well as creating our own questions and answers from the data collection!’ The badge was either a ‘Haa! Haa! Haa!’, a ‘Hee! Hee Hee!’, or a ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ but whatever it was it was a laugh. With a celebration assembly including a fashion show walk on the day itself! Singing ’Help!’ and ‘’Doing Something funny for the money!’ complete with video, it really was a lot of fun and laughter. The message was "It's good to be me! Not living in Poverty!"

In 2011 now no longer school based I tried to continue the badge tradition but in a smaller way! The badge design although popular was not my favourite so I finished with an alternative pirate design for myself.

By 2013 with ‘The Monster’ links were made with new schools which saw the badge making continue although now in a much smaller way!

So then came 2015!

"Be Yourself, everyone is already taken!" (Oscar Wilde)

I like this message and badge design. I knew it would not get to 2000 badges but whatever I raised I would be glad to continue do so!

With nine noses to pick it was the message on the ‘T’ shirt which seemed to say it all! “Be yourself!” 'Be Yourself'

Badges continued...

It was raining ‘Cats and Dogs’ for Red Nose Day 2017

2017, seemed to have an animal theme on the ‘T’ shirts so cats and dogs seemed a good idea for the badge design.

Once again I wrote each name on the badge ordered, to personalise them; they are easier to wear than a nose (although a red nose can still be worn too!); they are individual and less likely to get lost. Plus with a special waterproof cover these noses won't run!

It was good to carry on the tradition.

But what about 2019?

I couldn’t remember if I had done any that year! My supply teaching and book journey was now more about author days.

But then my friends reminded me of the rabbit badge. Of course, it was rabbits, but the rabbits didn’t breed that year and I only made a few badges.

What would happen in covid 2021?

2021 - lockdown hairWould I continue under lockdown circumstances?

I had to come up with an idea for this year’s badge.

My daughter was joking with her dad about his ‘Lockdown Hair’ and it reminded me of the Tommy Cooper Red nose Day ‘T-shirt.

With a bit of tweaking, I came up with a new design.

There seem to be a few ladybird noses so I added that too.

I only managed to make a few for family and friends.

Comic Reflief 2022

Another of those times when I wondered if/ how or what badges I would do.

I saw a lady, Wendy White, who turned her silly ‘mood’ stars into 'Silly Me'. This inspired me to do 'Silly Me' comic relief badges and with colours to support the war in Ukraine the badges were designed. 'Silly Me'

Again, only friends and family so maybe it was time to stop?

I bought a few silly me stars from Wendy and my grandson and I added them to our play tent so we can have some silly me time.


Comic Relief is now every year and without a permanent school connection maybe it was time to stop.

But then I saw the T-shirts for this year, which included Mr Men characters.

With a weekly visit from my grandson, I thought this would be perfect for just us.

comic relief Mr Men 'T'-shirtsSo, he had a Mr Happy and I had a Little Miss sunshine We made just a few Mr Men character badges with red noses.

We had some fun on our play day together and were able to continue in our own small way.


So along came 2024.

I wasn't sure what to do until I saw the new 'T'' Shirts with Wallace and Grommit.

2024 RNDI bought a T shirt for my grandaughter and grandson and I have mine to wear to my weekly Zumba. This inspired me to create the new badge for 2024 and here it is. 'A cracking badge Grommit.'

My granddaughter is too young for a badge and the T shirt may be too big but... it just had to be done!

RND 2024 T shirtsAt least I get to continue the tradition and I'm pleased to do so.


Check out other Red Nose Day News here.

Comic Cats and Dogs

Lockdown Hair

School links

A visit to Number 10

Where to get my books

Books are available from the following:   My Books     Waterstones    

Barnes&Noble    Foyles (amongst others)

Don't forget to look and ask in your local Museum, book shop or even buy on your Sainsburys on line shop!

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