YOUNGSTERS swapped their uniforms for red shirts and funny noses to raise money for Comic Relief.

Schools and nurseries across Colchester were keen to teach pupils about Red Nose Day and how money raised supports people in poverty.

Instead of their usual uniforms, children were invited to dress in red and create crazy hairstyles for a special charity day.

Some schools, including Iceni Academy and Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery in Colchester, organised extra fundraising events including selling red noses and organising sports days.

Wivenhoe Bumps and Babies also organised a special sensory day with red sand, red balloons and the babies were all dressed up.

Cheeky Monkeys Day Nursery in Colchester hosted a special sports day fundraiser.

Children, who were also invited to wear red for the day, had to tackle a number of obstacles including tyres and ball games.

The nursery, in William Harris Way, also spoke to the children aged up to four years old about the importance of raising awareness.

Lauren Taylor, deputy manager at the nursery, said: “We asked all the parents to donate £1 and we are still counting that money up.

“We encouraged the staff and children to wear red and we set up an assault course in the garden to see how many laps they could do.

“We had crates, cones for them to zig-zag around, footballs for them to kick, and tyres.

“There was a lot of running and jumping, and a lot of obstacles for them - they are such active children.”

A mini version of the obstacle course was also set up for the younger children.

Lauren said: “The children really loved the outdoor experience, and we spoke to them about raising money for children not as fortunate as them.”

Senior students at St Mary’s School in Colchester also wore red to raise money for Comic Relief.

Anwen Jones, Director of St Mary’s Senior School, said: "This year, it has coincided with British Science Week, so we held a ‘Wear it Red’ day to enable our students to get hands on with the range of exciting science activities on offer. 

"We will split the £400 raised between Comic Relief and our Senior School’s Round Square nominated Charity of the Year, the Catherine Bullen Foundation.”

Iceni Academy in Gloucester Avenue invited pupils to come in with crazy hair and brightly coloured outfits.

They also took part in a number of fundraising activities including selling sweets and red noses.

The pupils also enjoyed decorating their faces and clothing with red or coloured polka dots.

John Poulson, deputy headteacher at the school, said it was great seeing the children embrace charity.

He said: “It has been so pleasing to see pupils enjoy dressing up, wearing their red noses and supporting such an important charity at the same time.”

Sweets were sold in red and white stripey bags, as well as red nose hot chocolate and the iconic plastic red noses.

With each child donating £1 to wear non-uniform, the total raised is expected to be around £200. The pupils had a great day and loved being able to wear their own clothes to school.