Are you all set for Red Nose Day? Comic Relief fundraising has already kicked off for Hitchin fitness fans and Letchworth karate kids

Bronte Thornley and her zumba class members at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre after their two-hour s

Bronte Thornley and her zumba class members at Hitchin's Queen Mother Theatre after their two-hour session for Comic Relief. Photo: John Francis - Credit: Archant

It’s Red Nose Day on Friday – but the fundraising for Comic Relief has already started for fitness fans and karate kids in North Herts.

ATSK Letchworth Karate Club's charity night for Comic Relief on Monday. Photo: Ali Sheriff

ATSK Letchworth Karate Club's charity night for Comic Relief on Monday. Photo: Ali Sheriff - Credit: Archant

Zumba class members in Hitchin worked up an appetite for cake on Friday and raised nearly £600 for the cause.

Regulars from Bronte Thornley’s weekly sessions at the town’s Queen Mother Theatre stumped up to take part in a two-hour session rather than their usual 60-minute stint, with the extra class fees going to the Comic Relief charity push.

And they were able to refuel with hot drinks and cake, which helped hike the charity total even higher.

Bronte hosted a similar marathon session for Sport Relief last year, and also runs classes at Hitchin’s town hall and the Methodist Church in Stotfold.

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She said: “It was a lot of hard work for everyone but we all had a great time.

“I’d like to thank everyone who supported our fundraising this year – working out and raising money was a win-win way to start the weekend.”

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Letchworth’s Association of Traditional Shotokan Karate supported the drive last night with a charity self-defence fitness session.

The evening, led by ATSK chief instructor Kevin Stark, was enjoyed by young and old alike, with attendees as young as four and in their 60s.

This Friday, Red Nose Day itself, will see a programme of fun charity work at Letchworth Sports and Tennis Club, with a homemade bake sale, a ‘guess the weight of the cake’ contest and more.

The winner of the ‘guess the weight’ event will keep the cake – and punters will also have the chance to guess how many Maltesers are in a jar and how many men it takes to change a light bulb.

Organiser BJ Gray said: “This event is always so worthwhile and, while we are busy taking things for granted and having the privilege of these kinds of extra-curricular activities, it only seems right to make the effort to raise money for many of those a lot less fortunate than ourselves.

“I am hoping to get the support of parents and staff at the club who will enter into the spirit of things whether that is by way of making a baking contribution, dressing up or simply making a donation to Comic Relief.

“But, more than that, this shows that LSTC is a caring family club, happy to raise money for a very good cause in a fun, community-spirited manner.”

Sainsbury’s Letchworth has agreed to provide BJ and her daughter with cooking ingredients and Red Nose Day merchandise on a sale-or-return basis to help with their fundraising.

But the supermarket isn’t stopping there – Letchworth’s Sainsbury’s will be raising funds on Friday with zumba dancing, bike riding and more.

Store manager Kate Swan said: “Our colleagues love getting involved with Red Nose Day fundraising and we’re all really proud to support such a great cause. There are some brilliant activities planned this year and we look forward to inviting customers to join in with the fun.”

Comic Relief, set up in 1985, supports poor and disadvantaged people in the UK and overseas as part of its work to eradicate poverty.

Its Red Nose Day fundraising drive happens once every two years, alternating annually with Sport Relief.

If you’d like to get involved in the fundraising this Red Nose Day, have a look at

If you’re doing something for Comic Relief, email us your photos and reports at, or tweet us using the handle @thecomet24.

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