Suffolk/Essex: County gets behind Comic Relief

Ten year olds William Stevens and Alex Hazelwood from Melton Primary School enjoy Red Nose Day.

Ten year olds William Stevens and Alex Hazelwood from Melton Primary School enjoy Red Nose Day. - Credit: Archant

HUNDREDS of people across Suffolk and north Essex donned red noses, dug out their onesies and generally had a whole host of fun as Comic Relief guffawed its way to its 25th anniversary.

From the very young in nurseries to the not-so-young in work places, the county dug deep to try to smash the £62million set last year.

An entire Suffolk town got into the fundraising spirit by wearing silly ties and collecting donations for the appeal.

Almost every business in Framlingham volunteered to join in and persuade staff to wear colourful and comical ties in order to raise cash. They even invited local MP Dr Dan Poulter along to join in the fun.

Nearby, at Easton Primary School, children dressed as their favourite super-heroes and put their imaginations to work for a day of fun.

The pupils of Melton Primary School also dressed up – some arriving as film stars and others spending a comfortable day in their pyjamas.

In west Suffolk, leisure centre workers in Haverhill also went to work in their pyjamas while all flume ticket sales were donated to Comic Relief.

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James Purkiss, Haverhill Leisure Centre manager, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting Comic Relief again this year and our staff are very pleased they get to spend the day in their PJs. But there will be no time for sleeping as we raise funds throughout the day for this fantastic charity.”

Duty manager Kirsty Millard, who featured in Abbeycroft’s recent Active St Eds poster campaign, ran the equivalent of a marathon on a treadmill to raise funds.

Staff at Kids Play in Station Hill, Bury St Edmunds, worked more closely together than normal. Sam Langley and Laura Rzeczycki were tied together for the morning to raise money for Comic Relief while children held a bake sale.

Carly Charles, nursery manager, said: “All of the children throughout the nursery took part in making cakes and biscuits, from our babies to our pre-school children.”

Meanwhile, it was fun and laughter for the tots at St Margaret’s play group in Ipswich, as they enjoyed face painting and exciting activities. The group raised more than £160.

The students and staff at Otley College also joined the nation’s Comic Relief efforts by creating a large papier-mache nose. They put presents inside the comedy nose and people paid to pick out a prize. Cash was also raised through a disco and staff also hosted a coffee morning.

Nerys Feeney-Howells, from Debenham, cycled 15 miles cross-country in a onesie and raised £300.

In Essex, senior girls at St Mary’s Lower School in Colchester dressed to impress and raised £200 while staff at Stansted Airport held their own version of the Great British Bake-Off and collected more than £500.

Back in Ipswich, brave 10-year-old Christopher Allen had his hair shaved off for the cause.

The Springfield Juniors pupil raised more than £400 for his efforts. He said: “I did it in front of the whole school and my friends kept asking why I was doing it. I did it for charity and I’m really proud.”

Young Christopher wasn’t the only one to lose his locks for Red Nose Day. Sam Bell, 11, from Gislingham Primary School, near Eye, also found himself surrounded by friends and parents as the clippers came out. By the end of yesterday, Sam had raised £250 for agreeing to have his curly mop reduced to a buzz cut. The rest of the school got into the fundraising spirit by wearing funny hair to raise money.

An altogether more painful hair loss was experienced by Martin Murphy, the manager at residental home Catchpole Court in Sudbury. Mr Murphy raised £500 after having both his legs waxed for charity.

“The wax strips went quite high up and we could tell he was suffering but I’m sure Martin would say it was all worth it,” said the home’s activties organiser, Anne Roche.

Also in Sudbury, 50 pupils from the nursery and reception classes at St Gregory’s Primary School raised £90 by enjoyed a morning at Little Kingfishers Play Centre in Sudbury, with many dressed in costumes or wearing red.

Foundation leader Leila Copping said: ‘We’ve all had a fabulous time together for a wonderful cause. You can’t ask for more than that.”