BBC Children In Need
CARLISLE Mencap staff, support workers and service users played their part on a fantastic night of fundraising and entertainment at the Brampton Road University of Cumbria campus for BBC Children in Need.
The university's Institute of the Arts was chosen as the base for BBC North East and Cumbria's contributions during the nationwide fundraising marathon which has raised millions and millions for good causes over the years - including thousands for Carlisle Mencap to help us provide holidays and trips for our service users.
Now Children in Need seems to have been around for many years and has to be regarded as a complete success story. Each year the appeal appears to break new records for amounts raised. But when did it start, exactly?
Well, children fundraising appeals on the BBC actually started way back in 1927 with a five-minute radio appeal on Christmas Day which raised a staggering - for the times - £1,143.
Then, from 1955 to 1979 there were televised Christmas Day appeals which over the years raised more than £650,000, but the Children in Need format that we've come to know and love didn't really kick in until 1980 when Terry Wogan, Esther Rantzen and Sue Cook presented the marathon fundraiser.
Pudsey Bear didn't put in an appearance though until 1985. According to the BBC - and they should know! - he was created by a graphics designer at the Beeb, Joanna Ball. She came up with a brown, not yellow, cuddly bear mascot and named him after her home town in West Yorkshire - Wakefield. Only kidding - she was born in Pudsey, obviously. The following year he returned as a yellow bear with the spotted bandage.
Over the years, Children in Need has raised more than £800 million. A staggering amount. And who knows? All being well your donation could help to send one of our service users on a much-needed holiday.