HUNDREDS of North Tynesiders did something funny for money on Friday to raise cash for Comic Relief.
Children at Choices Nursery in Monkseaton raised more than £250 by putting on a performance of the picture story The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson.
Ollie Ketchell, of Beach Avenue, Whitley Bay, decided to make a permanent mark on Red Nose Day by having an image of television presenter Stephen Fry inked on her leg to promote Walker’s Stephen Fry-up crisps created to raise money for Comic Relief.
The 21-year-old shop assistant’s tattoo – believed to be the only one of Fry, famous for shows including QI and A Bit of Fry and Laurie, in the world – was created by Paul Johnson at the Cock A Snook tattoo studio in Heaton.
Ollie has already raised more than £250 and her web page, http://my.rednoseday.com/StephenFryUpTattoo, will be taking donations until the end of the month.
A group of dancers of all ages, led by Whitley Bay mum Debbie Hunt, raised just over £800 by performing a special routine while wearing high heels and football tops at Mayfield Community Centre in Cramlington.
Members of the SAS Bootcamp fitness class raised £200 by holding a fancy-dress session at the Greens gym.
One North Tyneside Council worker was left red-faced after saying goodbye to the beard he has had for the last 10 years.
Senior accountant Noel Kay promised to shave off his goatee, as well as painting his head, if that would raise more than £200 for Comic Relief.
His colleagues stumped up more than £310, so he was forced to get out a razor.
He said: “I’ve had the beard for over a decade, and I’ve got to admit I was nervous beforehand. It was my daughter that suggested the challenge, and I thought it would be a fun way to raise money for a worthy cause.
“I feel a bit exposed now it’s gone, but strangely I’m not bothered about my head being painted red.
“I’m just glad I didn’t decide to go for a full body wax, but maybe that’s next year’s challenge!”
Other council staff also got into the spirit of the day. Barbara Morris lived up to her name by morris dancing around her office, Claire Emmerson wore a red wig, and others including Joe and Ian McMillan and Stephen Mellor dressed up for the occasion.
Youngsters at a dance club in Whitley Bay put their best feet forward to raise almost £170 for Comic Relief.
Children at Jo Jingles raised the cash by holding a collection at their sessions at St Andrew’s Church.
Club organiser Helen Maltby said: “I am thrilled with the children.
“They managed to raise such a large amount of money, and they really enjoyed doing it.”
Babies and toddlers at Monkseaton’s Messy Monkeys playgroup painted their noses red last week to raise money for this year’s Comic Relief.
Session organisers Helen Symonds and Karen Chapman offered to donate money for every child and adult willing to paint their nose red.
Karen said: “With more than 50 children enjoying the fun each week, we aim to make a generous donation, even if the cheque is splattered with paint.”
Archers raised more than £2,500 for charities including Comic Relief by staging a marathon shoot at the weekend.
Sixteen members of Killingworth Archers and other clubs in the region fired arrows continuously for 24 hours from 10am on Saturday at Framwellgate School in Durham to raise money.
A total of £2,000 was raised for Comic Relief, £500 for Help For Heroes and £300 for Javea in Nepal.