What a wonderfully wacky lot of Comic Relief fundraisers you’ve been in Sunderland!

Having a ball at the Pennywell all-night games marathon 14 years ago.
Having a ball at the Pennywell all-night games marathon 14 years ago.
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When it comes to Red Nose Day, it’s hard to pick a favourite memory.

After all, there have been so many great scenes across Wearside over the years as hundreds of you have turned your hands to fundraising with a comedy twist.

I’ve done bits and pieces for charity before but never had my hair shaved!

Phillip Richardson who had a ‘hair cut’ to remember in 2013

This year’s Comic Relief Day arrives tomorrow.

But how about a look back at Sunderland’s contribution over the years.

Chris Cordner reports.

Red Nose Day has been going strong since 1988.

The first one raised £15million nationwide. The people of Wearside and County Durham have always contributed to such a worthy cause.

Take a bow if you were:

l In the huge team at the Pennywell Youth project who held a ‘stay awake all night’ games marathon in 2005.

l Among the staff at Finger Paints Kindergartern in 2009. They took part in a ‘spooky sleepover’ for the cause. Who remembers how much was raised?

l The Sainsbury’s Fulwell team who donned fancy dress, held cake sales, and had a ‘guess how many sweets are in a jar’ competition in 2011. They raised thousands.

l One of the Sunderland players who wore red noses as they trained in 2011. Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan “busted out” his dance moves while wearing his red nose.

l The staff of Barclays on the Doxford International Business Park who spent five years backing Sport Relief and Comic Relief up to 2012.

l Everyone involved in the Fulwell’s Got Talent night in 2013, held at Mill View Social Club.

l All those who had a sponsored haircut at Barclays in 2013 and branch manager Linda Fishburn said at the time: “It was really good fun, once again Sunderland people were really giving.”

Sainsbury’s worker Phillip Richardson volunteered to have all his hair cut off and said in 2013: “I’ve done bits and pieces for charity before but never had my hair shaved!”

l The same year, students at Sunderland College competed in a Harlem Shake-off to boost funds and the popular craze saw groups of people dancing in bizarre ways to Harlem Shake by American electronic musician Baauer.

Each student paid £1.50 for a Comic Relief Red Nose to take part with the results of each shake-off’ posted on the college’s Facebook page.

l The dedicated team at Sunderland City Council’s Customer Contact Centre, based at the civic centre, who in 2014 acted as a volunteer pledge centre. Staff handled an estimated 2,500 calls and donations of approximately £67,000.

l The Salvation Army in Southwick who held a Comic Relief Bake Off in 2015 with 12 contestants taking part - and with cakes available to buy at the end of it! Community beat managers from Southwick Neighbourhood Police Team played the role of Mary Berry to judge the cakes,

l More than 165 npower volunteers who took part in their own fundraising activities and manned phone lines until midnight in 2015, in their role as the regional call centre for the event. They did the same again in 2016 when they also wore their favourite sports kit to raise money.

l Sunderland High School staff and students who hit the bullseye with a charity darts match four years ago.

l Thorney Close Primary School which invited three stand-up comedians to its Comedy Cafe to provide some professional laughter into proceedings, again in 2015.

l The Moorsley Community Association which held a Red Nose Day coffee morning in 2017.

Apologies to all those we have not mentioned and we know there will be hundreds of you who all deserve praise.

But as Comic Relief gets ready to get into full swing once again, we wish you good luck with your fundraising endeavours.

The money raised through Comic Relief goes towards helping people across the UK and internationally.

And to tell us more about some of the fantastic charity events you have planned for Comic Relief this year, email chris.cordner@jpimedia.co.uk