September 30th, 2016

Young and old do their bit for Children In Need

Updated: 10:49 am, May 07, 2015

RESIDENTS, groups, schools, businesses and community groups across the region all did their bit for the BBC’s Children In Need.

The charity drive, which helps youngsters from all over the world and this year had a superhero theme, notched up a record total nationally – raising more than £32.6million.

The Early Bird Swimmers from Northfield Pool and Fitness Centre raised more than £2,600 for the cause.

A total of 35 swimmers notched up an impressive 45 miles in just 53 minutes last Friday (November 14), equating to 2,400 lengths between them.

The challenge was to do 39.63 miles as that is the distance between all of the Birmingham City Council-run swimming pools in protest at the authority’s plans to bulldoze nine of them and replace them with five.

Organiser Paul Hammersley said: “The challenge for the swimmers this year was to swim the distance between all of the council-run pools while there are still enough of them for it to be a challenge.”

A poster of each of the pools was put on the wall, along with the distance and, when the swimmers reached each one it was replaced with a picture of a bulldozer.

Northfield’s pool is one of the ones to be rebuilt, although it is not yet known whether that will be on the current site or in Longbridge.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who supported this event and made it so successful.

“Despite the target distance being such a big jump from last year, everyone pulled together and we managed to achieve our goal,” added Paul.

Children from St Peter’s First School in Droitwich raised £413 by dressing up as, not only super heroes, but also as role models. Some of them even came dressed as their own parents.

Headteacher Tracey O’Keeffe-Pullan said: “The school was really pleased to support Children in Need and the children showed off their super powers, having fun for a great cause.”

Staff and residents at St John’s Court nursing home dressed as nursery rhyme characters and enjoyed afternoon tea.

Among those enjoying a cuppa were Jack and Jill, Little Red Riding Hood, Humpty Dumpty. the three blind mice and Little Miss Muffet and the spider.

Ffion Birch told The Standard: “It went brilliantly – the residents and staff really enjoyed it and, as well as the dressing up, we also sang the nursery rhymes.”

They do not yet know how much was raised at the home as the raffle is still ongoing.

Youngsters from Jellybabies Nursery, based at Longbridge Methodist Church, took part in a variety of activities, centred around children less fortunate.

Among them were painting with teeth and toes to highlight the issues faced by those who cannot use their hands, learning Makaton sign-language to see the barriers deaf children have in their daily lives and being blindfolded or helping lead blindfolded youngsters.

A total of 26 children from the nursery and pre-school took part, along with staff.

They also took part in teddy bear-themed events and some came dressed as superheroes.

The Northfield Early Bird Swimmers. s

The pictures of leisure centres were replaced with bulldozers as the Northfield Early Bird Swimmers reached each distance. s

Youngsters from Jellybabies Nursery and Preschool dressed as superheroes. s