NORTH Devon did its best to cast off the economic gloom and doom to raise money for Children in Need. Nationally, the annual BBC charity night raised more than £21 million. Supporters in the South West - Devon, Cornwall, South Somerset and Dorset - alone

NORTH Devon did its best to cast off the economic gloom and doom to raise money for Children in Need.Nationally, the annual BBC charity night raised more than £21 million.Supporters in the South West - Devon, Cornwall, South Somerset and Dorset - alone raised more than £528,000.Bideford's new Asda store became a "scary store" on Friday as its staff dressed up as zombies, ghosts, pirates and Harry Potter and horror characters.Others took on scary challenges, such as eating crickets, mealworms and cockroaches in a Bush Tucker challenge or sitting in a bath of cold jelly.A group of special youngsters from the Bideford Bay Children's Centre were also invited to the store to have a party of their own.The antics of the store staff were all in a good cause as collections were taken for Children in Need. Counting was continuing as the Gazette went to press.North Devon College was, as usual a hotbed of fund-raising. with activities taking place all over the campus. Students and staff raised at least £2,000 on the day.Activities ranged from tackling a climbing wall with boxing gloves to an X-factor-style competition and sales of sweets and cakes.Organiser Jon Gutteridge had his beard shaved.After raising nearly £90 by wearing pink clothes for a Breast Cancer Campaign fund-raiser last month, youngsters at Kiddywinks nursery in Barnstaple took a well-earned "nap" to raise money for this year's Children in Need appeal.Staff, children and parents at Whiddon Valley nursery all wore their pyjamas on Friday to do their bit for the charity.