RNIB shuns 'trick or treat' for Hallowe'encampaign

The Royal National Institute for the Blind is to run a Hallowe'en campaign around 'fun and safe' activities for children, disassociating it from the 'intimidating' practice of trick or treating. It has signed up supermarket chain Asda and children's laureate Jacqueline Wilson to support its UK-wide Scared Senseless Hallowe'en campaign.

The charity chose Hallowe'en for its association with darkness. RNIB press officer Terry Rattray, on secondment to the RNIB from agency Haggie Hepburn for the duration of the campaign, said the charity was conscious of the fact traditional 'trick or treating' could be misinterpreted, especially by older people.

'We understand that some people find trick or treating intimidating, so the RNIB will encourage children to take part in alternative activities, such as Hallowe'en parties, ghost walks and pumpkin parades,' said Rattray.

Wilson will be judging a children's ghost story competition. The charity is also in discussions with a major cinema chain to give it exclusive preview screenings of a new Hollywood animation to be released around Hallowe'en.

Asda's in-store opticians will promote the scheme and run classes for children, stressing the importance of looking after their eyesight.

The drive was piloted last year and its success has led the RNIB to roll it out nationally this year and get corporate sponsorship from Asda.

The RNIB has also designed a glow-in-the-dark orange wristband embossed with messages in Braille and Roman script for the campaign.

A media relations push focusing on women's lifestyle magazines and national newspaper supplements will accompany the campaign.

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