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Sea, Sand And Stars

1,500 children from primary and special schools headed to the beach to take part in Children North East's fun day

Children from across the North East separated into school teams to take up the annual Sandcastle Challenge issued by local charity Children North East. The kids had been working on their designs for the 'Star Struck – Explore the Cosmos' theme for several weeks in preparation.

The children researched their chosen subjects with the help of a business partner. Companies from diverse areas like construction, law, and banking, as well as the main sponsor Galliford Try, had been visiting schools to advise on the projects before giving a helping hand with the building work on Sandhaven beach in South Shields.

At the event, People's Postcode Lottery winner Elizabeth Faulkner from Leadgate was reunited with Postcode Lottery Presenter Judie McCourt. In March this year, Judie surprised Elizabeth with a £30,000 cheque on her doorstep when her postcode, DH8 7QX, got lucky. Elizabeth and Judie were guest judges at the Sandcastle Challenge, an event supported by players of People's Postcode Lottery.

Elizabeth was thrilled to be a part of the event. She said, "Children North East has made me feel incredibly proud to be a player of People's Postcode Lottery, because I know that I'm supporting a fantastic good cause based locally and that's important to me. I've really enjoyed being a part of this brilliant event. The atmosphere on the beach today has been amazing and being a judge has actually been really difficult because all the children have put so much effort into their creations. It's a day I won't forget."

Jeremy Cripps, Chief Executive of Children North East, said, "We were really happy to welcome both Judie and Elizabeth along to the Sandcastle Challenge today. Being able to show players of People's Postcode Lottery how playing helps charities really is priceless.

"The Sandcastle Challenge is always a fantastic event. The children have such brilliant ideas and are so enthusiastic creating their designs on the beach. The Sandcastle Challenge also creates hidden opportunities – meeting business people is great for extending school relationships and continues to help us raise awareness of the life-changing work Children North East does with children and young people."

Prizes, provided by Sandcastle Challenge sponsor Galliford Try, were awarded to five different winning teams who each took away £200 for their school. The overall winner, who will scoop the much-coveted bronze Sandcastle Trophy, will be announced at the Sandcastle Ball on Friday 28th September.

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Kids busy building at the Children North East Sandcastle Challenge
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