Red Nose Day in North Staffordshire (video)
A GRANDMOTHER celebrated red nose day by walking for miles dressed as a baby to raise money for the hospital ward that saved her granddaughter's life.
Elizabeth Rooke, from Tunstall, donned the costume to raise funds for the University Hospital of North Staffordshire's (UHNS) premature baby unit.
A separate collection raised cash for the official Comic Relief charity.
The 52-year old of Bank Street began her hike at 10.50am joined by her pal, 29-year-old Leanne Haywood, of Eaton Terrace, Porthill.
It was just one of many crazy activities taking place across the city yesterday in aid of Comic Relief.
The pair set off from The Britannia Pub, Bradwell Lane, Bradwell and walked to Westport Lake and then round it before returning.
The four mile journey was inspired by Kayleigh Eagles, now aged seven, who was born ten weeks premature, weighing just three pounds and with just a three per cent chance of survival.
Elizabeth said: "I decided to raise money for the ward because they are so amazing at what they do to save the babies.
"I have known many family and friends' babies that have been born premature."
Her 27-year-old daughter, Sarah Hirst, of Dimdale Parade West, Wolstanton, was ill throughout her pregnancy.
Elizabeth added: "When Kayleigh was in the incubator she looked so tiny, like a baby doll. You could open the sides and her tiny hand was smaller than my little finger.
"She was looked after so well for months until she was well enough to be taken home. She has been back for check-ups but she is lovely and healthy now – very much the chatterbox.
"The unit will always have a special place in my heart so I will carry on raising money for them."
The duo donned baby grows, dummies and bottles for the journey, which attracted many strange looks and beeps from passing vehicles.
They stopped for a break at the café at Westport Lake and enjoyed a warm cup of tea while many curious customers dropped change into their buckets.
The pair hope to raise more than £200 but will not officially find out for a few weeks until the UHNS have counted it.
Leanne said: "The walk was okay apart from the rain. Our clothes were very damp after but a lot of people beeped and waved.
"Elizabeth asked me to join her and I immediately said yes. It's a great cause and it coincides with Red Nose Day."
Sarah, was thrilled to hear that her mum was raising money for the ward.
She said: "I think it's brilliant. It was hard going every day because I couldn't hold Kayleigh for weeks and my little boy, Jake, was only three at the time, but they were so supportive and were really good with her."
Many other unique fundraising events took place across the region.
Employees at One-sure Insurance in Kidsgrove raised money during the day with fancy dress, shaving, waxing and baking.
Managing director Chris Lear dressed up as Shrek, while financial director Nigel Harper spent the day as Princess Fiona.
IT director Mark Hill dressed as Puss in Boots.
Meanwhile, sales advisors bravely agreed to have their heads shaved and some even let HR supervisor Michelle Matthias wax their chests.
Yesterday they had reached a total of £323 and were expecting at least another hundred.
Michelle said: "It was a lot of fun. There was a lot of screaming, but it is all for a good cause."
A belly-busting man versus food challenge was bravely attempted by employees at the Trentham based company, Ageas Insurance.
Ten worthy competitors took part and urged colleagues to sponsor them to eat three chilli hot dogs in the quickest time.
Proud winner Ben Roberts, a team manager, who came first with a time of three minutes 14 seconds said: "It was really great to get involved in something through work for such a worthwhile cause.
"It was a tough challenge but I am really pleased I won. But I think I will be giving chilli hot dogs a miss for a while."
Employee engagement coordinator, Laura Patterson said: "Ben did very well. He was up against some stiff competition. It was an entertaining event for everyone to watch."
Staff at Sainsbury's in Newcastle had a long weekend of mayhem planned to raise as money as possible.
Yesterday employees at the Liverpool Road store took part in a baked bean challenge, which involved picking them up with cocktail sticks.
They endured having their legs waxed and competed in the impossible task of quickly eating 30 mini donuts without licking their lips.
And the successful days fundraising was just a taster of what is expected today.
Forty colleagues are going to Stoke City's Britannia Stadium to do the Gangnam Style dance before the match kicks off.
PR Ambassador Sharon Fieldhouse who helped to organise the dance that is set to raise £2,000, said: "It's was very busy on Friday but today will be even more exciting.
"It's going to be a big day. I am really looking forward to it.
"We come together every year. We do it for the fun of it and to raise as much money as possible."
Students and staff from Stoke-on-Trent Sixth Form College dressed up as superheroes to raise money for the cause.
Throughout the day brightly dressed teenagers were seen in high spirits attending lectures and lunches.
Meanwhile pupils based at the Cauldon Campus completed a charity walk from the site on Stoke Road to and around Hanley Park.
These were just some of the crazy events which took place.