The region gets involved to help swell this year’s appeal

CHILDREN in Need fund-raisers across North Devon showed their spots as the region came out to support this year’s appeal with a whole host of colourful stunts, events and antics on Friday.

The 31st annual appeal raised a £18million during Friday night’s live show and as donations continue to pour in, organisers are hoping to beat last year’s grand total of £39million.

In the South West, the campaign was helped by fund-raisers including David Rolfe, from Lynton, who dressed as comic book film hero the Mask and spent the whole day collecting donations from shoppers on Barnstaple High Street. Perennial fund-raiser David, 25, has helped the appeal for six years and has raised around £1,800 in various guises – including Mr Blobby, Bob the Builder and the Tweenies.

Also in Barnstaple, staff at Boots held a themed fancy dress competition with other departments at the High Street branch. Beauty department girls Anita Mitchell, Fay White, Michelle Phillips and Pat Barrow (pictured) wore all-in-one romper suits while the healthcare staff came to work as cowboys and the checkout staff dressed as red Indians.

Across the road, banking staff at HSBC and Halifax were also showing their support for the appeal by wearing spotty outfits and offering customers homemade spotty cakes.

There were gurns-a-plenty at Barnstaple photographic studio when local snapper Andy Casey held a competition to find the town’s funniest faces.

Mayor Ian room judged the entries and crowned four-year-old Charlie Fisher the funniest boy, and Lucie Huckstep, also 4, the funniest girl. The funniest adult winner was Julia Powell.

At Petroc, staff and students once again dressed in a variety of imaginative themes and held a range of activities, from selling cakes to car washing, while the sports students organised a traditional “village fete” in the sports hall. The college total has been easily estimated at more than £1,000, with money continuing to come in.

Children and staff at South Molton Junior School thought up a ‘spot on’ way of raising funds for Children in Need.

As a twist to the non-uniform day idea they all paid for the privilege of wearing spotted clothes to school.

Young members of the school council also decorated cakes with spots and sold them to boost the fund.

Children from St Mary’s Primary School in Bideford turned the clocks back to the 1950s and 60s to raise money for Children in Need.

Young members of the school council took responsibility for the entire organisation of their event , deciding on a fancy dress day in fashions from the rock ‘n’ roll era.

They made a real effort with their outfits and some paid extra to enter a fashion show in the hall, for which prizes were awarded by one of the school governors.

The school council members also organised a cake sale to raise more money for the charity. In total the day raised £360.

At Bideford’s Asda supermarket, staff coughed up £37 to send section leader Tom Gittings to “jail” for 45 minutes. Tom spent the time locked away in a cage at the front of the store, much to the amusement of shoppers although not perhaps workmates Scott Holmes and Tom Downing who were shivering away in a bath tub filled with 121 tins of custard.

The store also held a raffle and keen amateur baker Hazel Meritt made a Pudsey Bear cake to sell to colleagues and customers.