Friday, 15 December 2017

Raising a laugh (and some cash) for Red Nose Day

RED noses nearly turned blue with cold as fund- raisers in fancy dress braved chilly temperatures in aid of Comic

RED noses nearly turned blue with cold as fund- raisers in fancy dress braved chilly temperatures in aid of Comic Relief.

Dozens of children and teachers at schools in and around Henley took part in last Friday’s 25th Red Nose Day with the theme “Do something funny for money”.

Staff at many businesses also joined in the fun, helping to boost the figure raised nationally to a record £75million.

Pupils and teachers at Sacred Heart Primary School in Henley raised £250 after donating at least £1 each to dress as superheroes and villains. Costumes ranged from Batman and Spiderman to Where’s Wally, Harry Potter and the Incredible Hulk.

Half the money will be donated to childhood cancer charity Headsmart.

More than 300 red noses were sold at Sonning Common Primary School and a cake sale raised another £104.

Pupils undertook their own challenges, including running laps of the school field in pyjamas, collecting change in the playground, dancing and performing comedy, raising £50.02.

Children at Crazies Hill Primary School helped painter Este MacLeod create a giant canvas by using only their noses, paying £1 each for the privilege.

Ms MacLeod, from Charvil, said: “This is the first project of its kind for Comic Relief and I thought it would be really good fun. It is going to be a very bright and colourful painting which will be loaned to a local hospital”

The school council at Watlington Primary School chose this year’s fund-raising activities.

Children in each year group dressed up as a different letter to spell “Red Nose Day” while staff were asked to dress up as something beginning with the letter Y. Pupils brought in 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins to line up along the school corridor and cakes were sold after school.

Headteacher Andrew Markham said: “What was great was the children came up with the ideas. We are pretty sure that we have raised more than we have done in previous years.”

Alfie Ford, 10, from Ewelme raised about £200 by having his head shaved.

He said: “I don’t like watching Comic Relief when it’s really sad so I wanted to make a difference. I wasn’t scared and I actually wanted it to be shorter but my mum said it would make me look ill. My friends say they can’t remember what I looked like before.”

Children at Piggott Infant School in Wargrave bought red noses, paid £1 to have a “crazy hair” day and held a popcorn sale after school, raising £324.18.

The Piggott School held assemblies every day last week using the teacher materials from Comic Relief. A non-uniform day was held on Friday and pupils held cake sales, raising a total of £1,215.68.

Children at Stoke Row Primary School held a cake sale and paid to wear red noses and the colours of their favourite flag, raising £380.

A cake competition was won by Jasper Hall, 10, while the winner of best texture and taste went to Jack McGregor, also 10. Billy Bradley, 10 and Bethany Redston, five, were awarded a joint prize for originality.

Year eight pupils at Gillotts School in Henley held a cake sale in the market square on Saturday, raising more than £250.

The idea came from Amelia Fielding Smith, who was brought up in Kenya and has seen first-hand the poverty of people in Nairobi.

Her mother Liz, who let the seven girls use her kitchen, said: “They were all very competent and I was impressed with their skills. It was lovely to watch them all working together singing to the radio and dancing around the kitchen — they had so much fun.”

Staff and students at The Henley College raised nearly £300.

The normally talkative Megan Hamilton held a sponsored silence lasting seven hours while library staff organised a “talk in the library” day and invited people to make a donation.

Principal Tom Espley said: “Well done to everyone involved in raising funds for such a worthwhile cause.”

At Benson Primary School, a non-uniform day and cake sale raised around £400.

Year two teacher Wendy Sinclair and teaching assistant Tania Hadfield had their legs tied together for the day. Mrs Sinclair said: “It was a challenge and difficult at times but we managed to teach a PE lesson together.”

Pupils Beatrice Thame, six, and Rosey David, seven, raised £11 by charging their classmates 20p for a joke.

Personnel at RAF Benson took part in a number of challenges last week. More than a dozen aircrew and engineers from 230 (Tiger) Squadron travelled to Wallingford station to pull Ivor the Engine 50m.

The 20-tonne Peckett steam locomotive was combined with a carriage to create a 40-ton train for the team to pull. More than £800 was raised. Other activities included pulling a Merlin helicopter for 100m, a “Big Breakfast” in the junior ranks’ mess and washing vehicles, raising £600.

Children at the Old Station Nursery at the base joined in the fun by wearing fancy dress for the day, raising £100. Station Commander Nigel Colman said: “It’s wonderful to see such a fantastic effort being made by personnel across the station and our children. While we take our day jobs very seriously indeed, it’s great that we can maintain our vital operational outputs while having a little fun for a good cause.”

Pupils at Caversham Prep went to school in odd shoes and held cake sales, a football shoot-out and guess-the-number-of-sweets-in-a-jar competition.

The finale was a talent competition. Parents packed into the school hall to be entertained by magicians, comedians, gymnasts, quiz masters, pianists, a tap dancer, a Bollywood dancer and guitarist. Headteacher Jacqueline Lawson said: “We all enjoyed a fabulous afternoon being entertained by our children. We were delighted to raise £325.86.”

Valley Road School in Henley raised £308. Year 5 pupils contributed £150 by selling cakes, including iced buns with red icing donated by Lawlor’s the bakers, and pizza slices donated by Domino’s pizza and Pizza Express. Waitrose in Henley donated a voucher so that children could buy ingredients for cakes.

Children at Highmoor Nursery took part in cake decorating, a cake sale, face-painting and a competition hunting for red bears in red spaghetti.

Stephanie Maxwell, of Dudes and Divas, showed the children some moves to the Red Nose Day song. A total of £243.75 was raised. The Babes in the Wood toddler group, run by Highmoor Nursery in Stoke Row pavilion, donated £38.50 towards the total.

Children at the Denning Montessori School in Fawley wore red clothes and made cakes, raising £70.

At Kidmore End Pre-School children dressed in red, played with only red toys and made red nose biscuits. Headteacher Nicky Liddon-Horncastle said: “The children had great fun.”

Staff at Rudi Kartal hairdressers in Duke Street, Henley, wore onesies and red noses and gave away cakes as well as donating all their tips to Comic Relief, raising a total of £102.

Receptionist Jamie Parker, whose mother Lynda runs the salon, said: “It was a last-minute decision — one of the girls texted me the night before saying we were going to do it. We like to do our bit for the community.”

Nine men from businesses Reward Your World, Siyonatech, Sinewuanon, Lindsay Blee and EU Promotions had their calves waxed by Lidia Jarosz of the Sharmi Joseph beauty salon in Henley.

Staff from Absolute Mobility, of Newtown Road, Henley, wore fancy dress as they collected money in Market Place. Owner Ross Edwards wore a Batman costume and salesman James Spicer dressed as Robin and sold raffle tickets for a minimum donation of £1.

Elsewhere, a cake sale and waxathon at the Chiltern House Business Centre in Station Road, Henley, raised around £740, not including sponsorship.

Carers from Home Instead Senior Care, which has clients across South Oxfordshire, wore red noses and Comic Relief T-shirts and raised more than £125.

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