Fancy that! It’s time for a fairytale-style toddle

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A massive fundraising event for children under five is taking place in Hartlepool for the 17th consecutive year this summer.

The Barnardo’s Big Toddle is on the way for children aged under five, and it is already attracting the support of celebrities.

EastEnders actress Nina Wadia and Tina Hobley from Holby City have both given their support to the hugely- popular annual fundraiser.

And following last year’s successful fancy dress theme of jungles and wild animals, the children’s charity is encouraging children to dress up as their character from storybooks for a theme of fairy tales and nursery rhymes.

Last year, toddlers in Hartlepool helped raise £49,000. Organisers hope to beat the target this time.

Big Toddle fundraiser Pauline Clark said: “We have always had some great support from Hartlepool tots, nurseries and families at past events, so we are hoping hundreds will turn out to enjoy the toddle.

“We are now into our 17th annual Toddle and it’s shaping up to being bigger and better than ever. This year our theme is fairy tales and nursery rhymes, so children can have even more fun dressing up.

“They can even put their teddy bears into costumes as well and then celebrate with a picnic afterwards.

“Every penny raised goes directly to our work with under-fives – so everyone can enjoy themselves and help raise vital funds for less fortunate children.”

The Big Toddle for Barnardo’s is a nationwide appeal that encourages youngsters to help other children by taking part in a half-mile sponsored walk.

Money raised goes towards helping Barnardo’s early years work and the local pre-school or playgroup taking part gets to keep 25 per cent of the funds raised.

“The Big Toddle for Barnardo’s is a great way for kids to get fit, raise money and have fun” says Director of Barnardo’s North East, Steve Oversby.

“The Toddle is all about children helping children and this year we are aiming to raise £1m so that Barnardo’s can continue to help children under five.”

“The money raised will go towards Barnardo’s early work with toddlers in services for children with disabilities, young carers, or parents who need a helping hand.”

For more information, email or phone 0800 008 7005