Go wild for charity

A FUNDRAISING event for children under five is taking place in Hartlepool for the 15th consecutive year.

The Barnardo’s Big Toddle will be held this summer and parents are already starting to register.

Last year’s event was a huge success with a fancy dress theme of swashbuckling pirates.

This time, the children’s charity is encouraging children to dress up as their favourite wild animal for this year’s safari and jungle theme.

Organisers are hoping to bear last year’s toddle total from town of £11,000.

Big Toddle Fundraiser Pauline Clark said: “We have always had some great support from North East tots, nurseries and families at past events, so we’re hoping hundreds will turn out.”

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.

Jonathan Ewen, the director of Barnardo’s North East, said: “The Big Toddle for Barnardo’s is a great way for kids to get fit, raise money and have fun. 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.”

People can either organise their own event or join one of Barnardo’s Toddles which are held from May to July at locations across the UK. For more information visit www.bigtoddle.co.uk or call 0845 270 9900.