£1m raised for Children in Need appeal in Wales

The Saturdays
Image caption The Saturdays performed at half-time at the Millennium Stadium

More than £1m has been raised in Wales so far during the annual Children in Need appeal - the second highest ever total on the night.

Marc Phillips, Head of BBC Children in Need in Wales, described the response from the public as "phenomenal".

He said the goodwill was there to help others even in these straitened times.

Highlights of the fundraising day included The Saturdays and Only Men Aloud playing the Millennium Stadium.

They performed before and during the interval of the drawn Wales-Fiji autumn international and musical inserts from the stadium, hosted by BBC One Show presenter Alex Jones, were included in the network coverage of the Children in Need telethon on BBC 1.

Image caption Sir Tom Jones on stage during the BBC Children In Need televised coverage

Around Wales schools, community groups and businesses took part in all kinds of events throughout Friday to raise money.

Mr Phillips told BBC Wales that the figure of £1,034, 336 raised in Wales was the second highest ever total raised here, contributing to the UK total of £18,098,199.

He said: "This is a truly remarkable achievement in such difficult economic times, and a genuine testimony to the generosity of the Welsh people who recognise that the pressures of the time might well produce even more situations in which vulnerable children and young people need support.

"Many thanks to everyone who has made this possible."

Mr Phillips said last year more than £3m of grants were made to organisations in Wales as a result of the Children in Need appeal.

The process of deciding which groups are successful in their applications this year will begin on Monday with the first money being handed out in January.

Around Wales, thousands of people dreamed up weird and wonderful ways of raising cash for Children in Need.

Image caption Pupils Ryan Waterson and Joseph Murray had their hair cut for Children in Need

Pilots and cabin crew from the bmibaby airline in Cardiff helped raise more than £16,000 for the appeal.

The money was raised through collecting spare change on board flights. Customers have also done their bit by opting to donate £1 when booking flights online.

Crew and ground staff have also got involved in the fundraising in other ways including a sponsored mountain climb up Mont Blanc.

A team from Carmarthenshire council ran in a relay across the county and raised £1,560, mainly donated by council staff.

And at Ysgol Esgob Morgan in St Asaph, Denbighshire, two boys with extremely long hair allowed their heads to be shaved.

Year 6 pupils Ryan Waterson and Joseph Murray both went under the clippers

Ryan had not cut his hair for a year and his hair reached his shoulders before the hair cut.

Head teacher Tim Redgrave said: "I am very proud of them for being so thoughtful in raising money for children less fortunate than themselves. It's a very brave thing to do."

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