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UK companies launch non-profit YouTube channel for Ukrainian children

Preschool animated show Brave Bunnies

A host of organisations have come together to launch a new YouTube channel for young Ukrainian refugees, featuring hit UK and Ukrainian children’s programmes.

Sunflower TV will launch on July 1 featuring up to 200 hours of ad-free dubbed content including Peppa Pig, Go Jetters, Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom, Thomas & Friends, Mr Bean: The Animated Series, Jojo & Gran Gran and Kit & Pup.

The channel will also feature shows produced by Ukrainian producers, including Brave Bunnies and Eskimo Girl, as well as additional shows aimed at six- to 11-year-olds.

The initiative, which is backed by UK trade body Pact and a range of organisations from the UK broadcast industry, is aimed at Ukrainian preschool and primary-school aged Ukrainian children re-settling in the UK and Europe and those still in Ukraine.

Nearly two thirds of Ukrainian children have been displaced as a result of Russia’s war against Ukraine, according to UNICEF.

Production companies, broadcasters, distributors and content creators involved in the initiative include Aardman, All3Media, Banijay, BBC and BBC Studios, Channel 4, Channel 5’s Milkshake!, S4C, Entertainment One, Film.UA, Fremantle, Glowberry, ITV and ITV Studios, Little Dot Studios, Mattel, Paramount and Nickelodeon, Sky, Starlight Media, STV and YouTube.

Other organisations with content they can offer to the new channel are also being urged to make contact with Deborah Chang at Little Dot Studios. Chang’s email is [email protected]

Pact’s chief executive John McVay said: “It’s difficult to imagine the trauma Ukrainian children have suffered as a result of being cruelly uprooted from their homes and communities only to find themselves thousands of miles away, living in a country where nothing is familiar.

“Hopefully Sunflower TV can go just a little way in providing them with some kind of light relief or distraction to take their minds off the terrible experiences they’ve been through, even if only momentarily.

“Everyone involved has given up their time and rights to their content for nothing and I’m hugely grateful to the support and enthusiasm all parties have shown in making this happen. It really shows that the creative industries can be a force for good.

“The most important thing is to get Sunflower TV up and running and to make sure Ukrainian families in the UK are aware of this resource for their children.”

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