PEOPLE across the UK will be going dotty today to support Children in Need – but new Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy has already been digging deep to give a big boost to the annual appeal.

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The Blues boss bid £18,000 to the Chris Evans show for a ticket for two for the BBC Radio 2 DJ’s Dine and Disco event in July next year.

McCarthy, who appears from time to time on the show, is a regular bidder for this event and has been to the last three after pledging substantial amounts of money to Children in Need.

The Dine and Disco event is for 25 couples at Evans’ own pub in the south of England, and Take That star Gary Barlow will be performing an exclusive set for those with tickets.

McCarthy did not want to comment on his bid, but he knows Chris Evans and went on his show the day after he was appointed Town boss to explain why he had joined the Championship strugglers.

McCarthy’s not the only one embracing Pudsey power – residents across Ipswich are getting their spots on to help out.

From bake sales and raffles to fancy dress and fun and games, Children in Need never fails to inspire people to take on fantastic fundraising feats.

Graduates at BT’s Adastral Park are hoping to raise around £3,000 for the Pudsey appeal with a week full of activities.

Project leaders Michael Holmes and Scott Finlayson helped to organise an international food market, a language school, a coffee and cakes trolley, a PlayStation tournament and sporting activities including rowing and cycling as well as putting some brave managers in the stocks.

“It has been an absolutely brilliant experience,” Michael said. “And we are well on our way to reaching our target.

“As well as raising money for charity, the experience has been a learning curve for us.”

Staff and students at the Otley College campus of Easton and Otley College have been busy, creating a raffle with a difference – students put spots all over their classroom wall and to participate, people bought a spot, lifted it up and found a prize underneath. Students also got dressed up and took on sporting challenges.

Organiser Sarah Brunning said: “Every year our students and staff enjoy raising money for Children in Need.

“The day is a great event in the British calendar that brings the region and the country together. We are delighted to support this great cause.”

Staff at the Star’s Lower Brook Street HQ weren’t left out of the fun, with busy bakers cooking up a selection of tasty treats yesterday to raise some pennies for Pudsey.

Dedicated staff at AXA in Civic Drive, Ipswich will play a key behind-the-scenes role in the annual telethon tonight, manning the phone lines to take donations from generous members of the public throughout the evening.

David Williams, managing director of underwriting and site sponsor for Ipswich, is delighted to be getting involved.

He said “We are really pleased to be running the Children in Need Call Centre for Suffolk again this year.

“As well as helping to raise funds for an incredibly important cause, it provides our staff with a great sense of satisfaction that they have been able to give up their time to do something truly worthwhile and rewarding.

“We as a business support a number of local charities, particularly through the Suffolk Foundation, but this is the one day our staff can physically feel involved, and it’s on a national scale.

“I really do feel proud personally being involved, and would like to thank all the staff that volunteer, those who sent positive messages of support from elsewhere in AXA, as well of course as those who supported with donations on the night.”

See our Chidlren in Need page for more charity action in Suffolk. And don’t forget to send us your news and photos via suffolk.iwitness24.co.uk

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