Norfolk students wear red for British Heart Foundation charity

Schools across the region saw red today as students donned crimson colours to raise money for a heart charity.

Pupils at West Earlham Junior School were among those who ditched their uniforms as part of the British Heart Foundation's (BHF's) National Wear Red Day.

Members of the Scarnell Road school's student council organised the day as a way of continuing to help the charity, after a fundraising art exhibition proved successful last year.

Council representative Ryan Withers, 10, said: 'We asked people in our class what they wanted to do for today and they liked the idea of wearing red and bringing in a donation of 50p or up.'

Fellow council member Olivia-Grace Richardson, 10, said: 'Me and Ryan told our class about the day and everyone started to get excited.'

She added: 'If you don't keep your heart healthy then you are most likely to die.'

Teaching assistant Karen Withers, who helps to run the student council, said: 'We have two pupils who have been personally helped by the BHF, one for a hole in the heart and another who needs to be regularly monitored.'

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Cromer Junior School also took part in the fundraising, with more than 100 pupils and staff eating a healthy dinner and learning about diet and exercise.

Year six pupils George Cadman, 10, Kara Mason, 11, and Ellen Hedge, 11, helped to collect money on the day.

George said: 'It's been really interesting and really good - it's been a different experience.'

The event was organised by cook manager Mary Osborne, who added: 'It's a cause close to me because people in my family have got heart disease and we have also lost members of the family to the disease too.'

Pupils at Caister High school swapped their uniforms for red wigs, skirts – and even an all-in-one lycra suit.

Year guidance manager, Sarah Arnold, said: 'The BHF kindly donated 10 resuscitation mannequins to us last year. It is such a worthwhile cause and the pupils had a great day.'

As well as raising vital funds, the pupils learned how a healthy diet and exercise can help reduce the risk of heart disease. 29,000 people in Norfolk are registered with their GPs as having coronary heart disease and last year more than 1,000 died from the disease.

Alex Mayer, BHF's fundraising manager for Norfolk, said: 'We do a lot of work with schools so that children can start out when they are young leaning about how to stay healthy and active and look after their heart. The Wear Red Day will also raise money for pioneering research, equipment for hospitals and to spend on patient care.'

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