Edinburgh gets into Comic Relief spirit

THERE’S been a spate of Red Noses breaking out across the Capital – but for once it’s nothing to do with the weather.

All over the city people eager for a little Comic Relief were taking up the challenge to “do something funny for money” – and in some cases the results have been left for the whole world to see.

Seven-year-old David Tubbs decided he wanted to be just like his dad this Comic Relief – so he shaved his head for charity.

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The youngster, who attends Royal High Primary, said: “I wanted to raise money and my dad’s bald so I wanted to be bald too. My friends think it’s brilliant! Loads of people have sponsored me, so I hope to raise lots of money.”

And he says his dad doesn’t mind the comparison he has made between them: “I told him what I was planning to do and he seemed okay with it!”

Dad Miles said: “I actually told him he shouldn’t want to be bald at his age, but he seems pretty determined! He really likes doing wacky things.”

David raised more than £200 with his hair-raising feat.

On Tuesday, staff and members of The Gym Group Edinburgh created a Harlem Shake video on the site of The Gym. Chris Watson, assistant general manager, who masterminded the flash-mob video said: “It was fantastic that so many of our members got involved and there were some amazing fancy dress costumes. We had over 40 people take part, which was a great turn-out.”

The stunt has raised more than £200 and had 2800 hits on YouTube. Not everyone who was fundraising felt the need to make a big noise about it, least of all Leith sisters Eilidh and Mairi Spence.

Mum Vicki, 36, said: “All the coverage on TV made them want to help. They wanted to do something difficult and I suggested a sponsored silence as a joke, thinking they would never take me up on it, but they decided then and there that that was the plan.”

Eilidh, 10, admits keeping quiet for 24 hours was a big challenge. She said: “It was really difficult at school. My friends were nice about it but they boys kept trying to make me talk.”

Younger sister Mairi, eight, also found school a testing time: “I kept wanting to answer questions from the teacher and remembering I couldn’t.” The girls have so far raised more than £250.

Another youngster who set themselves a taxing challenge was ten-year-old Jack Finlayson.

The TowerBank Primary pupil, who lives in Portobello, climbed Alien Rock 21 times on Thursday night - the equivalent of climbing Arthur’s Seat.

Jack said: “I admit, I didn’t think it would be so hard – it took me two-and- a-half hours and my arms were aching. The staff at Alien Rock were great, they set up a collection box from me. I had to do a talk at the school assembly about it the day after and they were all amazed I’d managed it.”

Jack’s efforts have added more than £300 to the total raised for charity in Edinburgh. Also putting his body through an intimidating day was Jay Jones, 19, from Huddersfield in Yorkshire, who is studying philosophy and physics at Edinburgh University. As previously reported by the Evening News, Jay has been renting out advertising space on his own face since February, to help pay for university. But yesterday he decided to go one step further, allowing people to draw what they wanted on any part of his body, if they paid a pound to Red Nose Day.

Jay said: “I’ve just been wearing a vest and short shorts, which isn’t the nicest in Edinburgh weather, but gives people a lot to work with. I’ve had some lovely pictures and messages – someone even wrote a marriage proposal on my leg, though having just met her, I think we’ll be taking things slow.” With plenty of space left on his legs, Jay had raised £50 by lunchtime yesterday.

Staff at Sainsbury’s in Murrayfield also got into the spirit by wearing onesies to work. And checkout worker Heather Scott sat in a bath of beans from 11am to 4pm.

And the giving isn’t over yet – if you fancy helping a good cause and helping yourself to a sweet treat, go to Crumbs of Portobello before 4pm. Owner Tom Ford explains: “Between 10am and 4pm on Saturday we’ll be donating 100 per cent of our total sales to Comic Relief, and all being well – and weather permitting – we should hopefully make about £400. We’re really looking forward to it and hope to see loads of people there.”