Shropshire raises smiles and cash for Comic Relief

Big-hearted Shropshire fundraisers raised thousands of pounds for Comic Relief with headshaves, bake-offs, fancy dress competitions and some good old fashioned-gunge.

Hundreds of people took part in a range of activities across the county to mark Red Nose Day yesterday.

Among the youngest was Evie Bierton, who set up a hair accessory business.

Evie made bobbles out of woollen pom poms and sold them for £2 each to her friends at St Peters School, Bratton, near Telford, and raised £50.

Mum Emma said: “We are very proud of her wanting do something to help others because she realises other people don’t have as much as she does.”

Meanwhile, Priory School pupil Charlie Bowdler, 15, shaved off her luscious locks to raise more than £500, and donated the cut-offs to The Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children affected by cancer.

Student hairdresser Tracy Wright, who cut Charlie’s hair, said: “She was determined to do it. She even did a presentation in assembly to explain to the other school pupils why she was doing it.”

Pupils and staff from Moreton Say Goslings Pre-school Nursery in Market Drayton had a silly fancy dress day to raise cash, while Walford College students in Shrewsbury had a bake-off competition, raising more than £300, and staff and students from Harper Adams University near Newport also baked to raise cash.

Deb Youens and the team at BT’s network communications centre in Shropshire were the behind-the-scenes stars of last night’s Comic Relief TV extravaganza.

Staff worked to ensure that donations and cash pledges could get through on the phone lines without causing problems to the rest of the UK’s communications network.

For only the second time, the network centre at Oswestry was transformed into a pledge centre, with around 100 BT staff volunteering to either man the phonelines for the telethon or to support in other ways.

Kevin Bryant, retiring headteacher of St Laurence’s School in Ludlow, was gunged in the school playground.

He said: “The school raised over £400. It was my idea to let the staff bid between themselves for who would chuck two buckets of gunge over me.”

Meanwhile, gym bunnies who attend Ladypace gym in Copthorne, Shrewsbury, swapped their weights for whisks and whipped up tasty treats in aid of Comic Relief.

The gym organised a ‘bake-off’ to raise cash and ladies were asked to pay £2 to submit a cake.

Their culinary creations were judged by Katie Wellington, who runs children’s cookery business Katie’s Kids Kitchen in St Julian’s Friars.

Eight-year-old Alex West, from Monkmoor, Shrewsbury, raised money with a reading marathon. He hopes to have hit his £200 target.

Staff at Oakengates Medical Practice spent their working day in fancy dress, while staff from Proactive Personnel in the town held a bake sale.

Fundraisers were out in force in Shrewsbury as children and adults across the town took on a range of wacky challenges.

Nine-year-old Rosa Rosanomizana, a pupil at Coleham Primary School, had her afro shaved off in front of her classmates to raise hundreds of pounds for worthy causes at home and abroad.

Her mum Jenny said: “She has always been interested in doing things to raise money. I work in International Development and she has been over to Africa and seen poverty first hand so she wanted to raise lots of money.”

Meanwhile, staff from Shropshire Council’s Gusto arranged a four-mile sponsored walk over six of Shrewsbury’s bridges with boss Sue Jury walking the entire route backwards.

And legal eagles from Wace Morgan Solicitors held a bake-off sale at their offices in the High Street.

At Shirehall, Adrian Andrew, assistant Branch Secretary with Shropshire UNISON, dressed up as a red dragon and serenaded staff with his version of Puff the magic dragon as they arrived at Shirehall on Friday – raising £275.93 in the process.

Staff and young people at Sundorne Youth Centre, Shrewsbury, held a Onesie night at their Youth Club Session on Thursday and were asked to make a small contribution to Comic Relief.

Primary and secondary schools in and around Oswestry got into the Comic Relief spirit by staging a variety of events.

One of the more unusual events saw the Marches School’s library transformed into a radio station for the day.

Crowds gathered in the library during break and lunchtime to see Year 8 students Amy Rowley, Mia Forbes, Katie Davies and Gabriella Edwards interview guests and report on the activities taking place around school.

Other activities included a cake sale where £60 was raised for Comic Relief.

And Telford youngster Charlee Skinner performed live on national TV earlier in the week with comedienne Miranda Hart after bagging a place in the star’s one-off Comic Relief band, Onesie Direction.

Over 100 girls auditioned to be part of the band and Charlee was one of ten shortlisted. The Thomas Telford A-level student found herself auditioning in front of the Queen of Comedy, Mel C and Louis Spence. Charlee, from Priorslee, said:

“I was nervous when I realised I was singing and dancing in front of Mel C and Louis Spence, but the day was brilliant.”

Her successful audition found Charlee performing the Spice Girls’ classic Spice Up Your Life in front of millions of people on BBC1’s The One Show.

She said: “I felt like a celeb for the day. We had a vocal training session and our make-up done. We were interviewed for radio and TV and then performed live for the show. It was terrifying but because it was for Comic Relief no one took it too seriously, so we just did our best and had a great time.”

Charlee described the experience was surreal but said she loved every minute of it. She said: “After the performance Mel C gave me a cuddle and congratulated me. It was amazing.”