Video and gallery: Region joins Children in Need fun

KIND-HEARTED people in Suffolk have been joining millions across the country today as they raise funds for Children In Need.

Naomi Cassidy

FUNDRAISERS across Suffolk and north Essex took part in a variety of madcap events to help transform the lives of disadvantaged youngsters.

Young and old came together to raise money for BBC Children in Need - with fundraising ideas including inflatable sumo-wrestling, riding a mechanical horse and sitting in a bath full of curry.

Students and staff at West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds opted for an unusual way to raise money for Children in Need, climbing into inflatable sumo-wrestling suits for a number of bouts.

Lecturer Mike Brett, who organised the activity, said: “We started in the morning and it was flat out. It is something the students can get involved in but only I and Tom Toolan , head of engineering, are the only tutors who have taken up the challenge so far.”

The event raised more than £90 while a talent show and treasure hunt through the historic streets of Bury St Edmunds were also organised by college students raising another £100.

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Customers at plush town centre tearoom, Harriets in Bury, were greeted to the dulcet tones of pianist Louise Searby who took song requests in exchange for a donation to the charity.

Ms Searby, who had organised a similar fund raising event in Norwich, said: “I thought Harriets would be an ideal place to hold this event as it is lovely and traditional. I raised £500 the last time I did this so I am hoping for similar success. I would just like to thank Harriets for giving me the opportunity to do this.”

In Sudbury, members of the town's round table carried on their annual tradition of touring every pub within a 10-mile radius of the town hoping to beat last year's total of more than £2,000 raised for Children in Need.

Meanwhile, a chef at a Bangladeshi restaurant took a bath in curry. Sanayor Miah, a cook at the family-run Mogul restaurant in Manningtree on the Suffolk/Essex border, took part in the fun stunt on Wednesday to support the appeal.

Mr Miah said: “In the bath there were lots of vegetables, cauliflower, cabbage, marrow, Bangladeshi water pumpkin, fresh herbs, ginger, coriander, garlic, with chicken, chicken tikka, king prawn and lamb. We even put some papadoms and onion bhajis starters in too.”

Minar Miah, owner of the award-winning restaurant, said: “Children in Need is a wonderful cause and is something we wanted to support in a fun way.”

Around 100 staff and students at Otley College, near Ipswich, decided to wear a wig to college, each paying a pound for the privilege.

Other activities included a skills challenge, where equine students challenged other departments at the college to have a lesson on the college's mechanical horse that is called 'Madge'.

“Children in Need is a fantastic event in the British calendar,” said college spokesperson John Nice.

“It encourages people from across the country to have fun whilst generating funds for this excellent charity, and we were delighted to be able to help out again this year.”

At Orwell High School, in Felixstowe, staff and students took part in a huge variety of events including Staff Weakest Link, Give Pudsey a Makeover and a sponsored car wash.

Actors and members from Brightlingsea Pantomime Group, near Colchester, flagged down drivers and took donations for the charity in a layby in the town. The thespians dressed up in traditional pantomime costumes for the occasion.

Youngsters at Sprites Primary School in Ipswich dressed up as Disney characters for the day and took part in various competitions, which included one for the best dressed teddy bear. Special Pudsey biscuits were made by the cook and children also made their own bandanas for the cause.

Actors and members from Brightlingsea Pantomime Group flagged down drivers and took donations for the charity in a layby in the town. The thespians dressed up in traditional panto costumes for the occasion.