Commonwealth Games opening ceremony viewers donate £2.5m to Unicef

A unique fundraising initiative at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony has raised £2.5m for children’s charity Unicef, according to the organisers.

A flurry of £5 donations from over 500,000 Britons were made in the first hour of an emotional appeal by Hollywood actor James McAvoy and Olympic cycling champion Sir Chris Hoy.

This money went toward Unicef’s Put Children First campaign in support of children from across the Commonwealth.

McAvoy told viewers: “This has never been done before - this many people in a single moment all coming together to make a life-saving difference to millions of children.”

UK broadcasters including ITV and the BBC collaborated on the venture by displaying an on screen message inviting viewers to text in donations or to do so online during the ceremony.

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