Pandas feature in new charity app

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The pandas at Edinburgh Zoo are to feature in new animated text message service to help raise money for charity.

Sweetie and Sunshine appear as animated emoticons – with fluttering love hearts dancing around them – in a new range of texts that support local causes.

Celine Sinclair shows off the app. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Celine Sinclair shows off the app. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Cash from their use will go to the zoo, as well as a number of other local charities.

Lovelight – responsible for the cute bear messages – is working on a wide array of emoticons people will be able to download and send.

The people behind it are Celine Sinclair who runs The Yard, an adventure play centre for children with disabilities in Eyre Place Lane and Steve Mitchell, a director of Tayburn Design in Causewayside. Ms Sinclair said: “How it works is that you send a personalised message ­telling someone just how you feel from your smart phone.

“If you’ve forgotten a ­special occasion then it could get you out of a tight spot! It takes about two minutes to do and if you do it on a smartphone it just comes off of your phone bill, so there’s no faffing around with payment.”

Each message sent using Lovelight, either from a computer or smartphone, costs £1, with 33p going to either The Yard, Edinburgh Zoo, The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, or St Columba’s Hospice.

Already hundreds have been sent – even though the service was only launched days ago.

Ms Sinclair added: “They’re all great causes and they all have their own themed animation. For example, Edinburgh Zoo is the two pandas with lovehearts around them. We are hoping to get other charities involved in future but for the moment we felt these four ­covered a broad spectrum where everyone could find a cause close to their own heart.”

“Everyone who uses Lovelight will have the option to be added to our database, which is an enormous help to a small charity like ours. Building up a list of people who could be interested in helping your ­charity is called ‘donor development’ and it’s something that larger charitable organisations take very seriously, with whole companies dedicated to finding new ways to do it.”

We revealed last week how the pandas had been taken off display, to prepare for this year’s breeding programme.

If you wish to send a Lovelight visit http://spreadthelovelight.com.