SCHOOLS, businesses, community groups and individuals all joined forces on Friday (November 20) to support this year s Children in Need appeal. Activities taking place in Huntingdonshire included a giant fitness class, a sponsored head shave, a best dress

A giant Pudsey pizza

SCHOOLS, businesses, community groups and individuals all joined forces on Friday (November 20) to support this year's Children in Need appeal.

Activities taking place in Huntingdonshire included a giant fitness class, a sponsored head shave, a best dressed teddy competition and the selling of Pudsey-Bear shaped pizzas.

St Ives held its biggest exercise class ever at the St Ivo Leisure Centre and raised £5,000 for the appeal. Guest star at the event was the charity's mascot, Pudsey Bear who posed for photographs during the warm-up.

A total of 92 people took part in the class which lasted more than eight hours and featured body combat, circuits, step, street dance, salsacise and pilates.

Jonathon Clarke, St Ives Leisure Centre manager, said: "There was excellent public support for the event, which also demonstrated the wide range of classes available at the centre."

In St Neots a teenager was left feeling cold after agreeing to have all the hair shaved off his head to raise £100 for the appeal.

Fourteen-year-old Longsands College pupil, Jack Osborne underwent the dramatic haircut at Style Guru in Longsands Parade, St Neots.

He said: "It's a really big change, but I will get used to it."

Jack's father, Glynn said he was really proud of his son's charitable nature and added that he wanted his hat back once his son's hair had grown back!

Also in St Neots Crazy Skaters raised £350 by taking part in a sponsored skate.

More than 50 youngsters skated over 200 miles for an hour without stopping.

Six-year-old Robbie Wilson of Little Paxton raised the most money, £160.

Organiser Chris Gore said: "A big thank you to St Neots Leisure Centre for free use of the hall for this event."

Just down the road in Eaton Socon, mothers and their babies took part in a morning of fun featuring a best-dressed teddy competition.

The event was organised by the St Neots and District National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Bumps and Babes group at the Eaton's Children Centre and raised £44.

Others activities included a spotty and dotty dress competition and a cake stall.

Nicola Bonell, co-ordinator of the group and mother of two, said: "Each year the Children in Need appeal makes such a difference to children's lives. We're glad to play our part by raising awareness and having a great time showing off our creativity in the name of Pudsey."

Cubs from Fenstanton and Hilton Scout Group raised £212.83 by cooking dinner for their local heroes, inviting teachers, sports coaches and their families to dine at Fen Drayton Village Hall in return for donations.

The youngsters presented a buffet of food from around the world, offering guests Greek and pasta salads, chicken teryaki, noodle stir fry, mini burgers with rolls, tropical fruit salad, Nigella's instant chocolate mousse and tiramisu.

Louise Clover, scout group chairman, said: "This was yet another example of the cubs 'doing their best' by helping others, yet having fun at the same time. It was quite amazing to see just what boys and girls this age can cook when given the opportunity."

Children and staff at Puddleduck Nursery School in Colmworth raised £200 by dressing as characters from their favourite children's books and baking and selling cakes.

In Papworth members of the village's WI hosted a Mamma Mia inspired event, complete with brightly-coloured costumes.

Mini Pudsey-Bear shaped pizzas were sold at Papa Luigi in St Margarets Way, Huntingdon to raise money for the appeal. The man behind the idea was owner Stef Malajny who, with assistance from his five-year-old son James and cousin, Amelia created a giant Pudsey pizza. They used tomato and mozzarella for the base, sweetcorn for the fur, his buttons were salami and olives, his bandana were onions and red peppers and his eye was a hard boiled egg.

At Abbey College in Ramsey pupils dressed in non-uniform, including wacky hats, a banana costume, the '118,118' outfit and Mexican attire. While students at Kimbolton School held a Pudsey pamper parlor with nail painting, hair dying, face painting and sponsored leg waxing for boys.