Pudsey residents are being urged to save their two pence coins – and help raise up to £30,000 for Children in Need.
The Pudsey 2p Challenge will be held on November 16 and organisers are aiming to initially cover a large outline of Pudsey Bear and create a coin mosaic on the five-a-side pitch floor at Pudsey Leisure Centre.
And they’re hoping that if enough people donate, they may even be able to fill the whole floor with coins and raise £30,000 in the process.
The event is being organised by a small group of volunteers who are determined to raise as much money as they can for the charity which helps disadvantaged children – and cement the town’s strong connection with Children in Need.
Children in Need mascot Pudsey Bear was created in 1985 by BBC graphic designer Joanna Lane. The bear was named after her hometown of Pudsey, where her grandfather Irvine Ball was borough councillor between 1936 and 1955 and town mayor in 1950.
His community work included helping to found the Pudsey Musical Festival, Pudsey United Chorus and the Pudsey Committee for Welfare of the Blind. His wife, Rose, was also an active member of the community.
One of the organisers is Simon Seary, who is also a Leeds city councillor for Pudsey. He was one of about 10 people who attended an initial planning meeting earlier this week. He said:
“Pudsey hasn’t done much as a community for Children in Need for some time, and this is an idea we had to change that.
“We’ve already had a great response from the town so far. We have shops already agreeing to hold collection jars, so people will be able to drop off their two pences. People can donate more if they want to and we’ll convert it into copper.
“People will also be able to turn up at the leisure centre on the day and drop off their two pences, and we’ve also been talking to banks about the logistics of possibly dealing with up to 10 tonnes of coins.”
The plan is to have entertainment at the leisure centre on the day. And volunteers are aiming to get local schools involved once they return in September.
Volunteers aim to record the leisure centre floor being filled with coins via timelapse video.
Anyone who wants to help organise or help the event in any way can contact Mr Seary via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 0113 3788557.
Pudsey’s Christmas Lights switch-on traditionally takes place the same day as Children in Need, but the date has this year been switched to Sunday, December 2 between 2pm and 8pm. Plans include moving the switch-on from behind the leisure centre.
A reproduction of Pudsey Bear (made of plants) sits in Pudsey Park.