Non-stop calls answered in Havant ensure Children in Need record

HELPING OUT Staff dress for Children in Need at Southern Electric in Havant. From left, Sue Templeton, Gill Swatton, Shaun Newton, and Simon Winter.  Picture:  Ian Hargreaves''(114108-4)
HELPING OUT Staff dress for Children in Need at Southern Electric in Havant. From left, Sue Templeton, Gill Swatton, Shaun Newton, and Simon Winter. Picture: Ian Hargreaves''(114108-4)
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VOLUNTEERS in Havant helped make it a record-breaking Children in Need.

The 300 workers at Southern Electric took more than 9,000 calls in just five hours.

The phone lines didn’t stop ringing as workers at the call centre did their bit to help sick and underprivileged children.

The team gave up their Friday night and worked until 2am to receive donation calls from people across the country.

It was the first time that Southern Electric, in Penner Road, has been one of the 50 national call centres for Children in Need.

Staff said it was well worth it – and they can’t wait to do it all again next year.

Tracey Costley, 39, a mum-of-one from Whiteley who manages the call centre, said: ‘It was a fantastic night. I didn’t get home until 3am but it was an amazing night. The atmosphere was superb.

‘People were still line dancing up and down the call centre at 1.30am, everyone dressed in their pyjamas.

‘It was a fun evening, but quite emotional as you knew you were doing something important to help children.’

Donations ranged from £2 to one caller who rang in with £7,000.

Mrs Costley said: ‘People from the age of four to 95 years old were ringing.

‘Sometimes they apologised because they could only give £5. But even £5 is a great contribution. Every penny counts.’

The generosity of the British public helped to ensure a staggering £26,332,334 was raised – the highest on-the-night total ever.

The contribution from the South region was £1,908,649.

People across the Portsmouth area contributed to this sum, taking part in a variety of money-spinners such as sponsored juggling and car washes.

Passengers on the Gosport ferry donated £833, with funds collected children from Leesland Junior School.

Members of Petersfield Squash Club raised £551 by holding a squash marathon, playing non-stop while dressed in their pyjamas from 7pm to 9am the following morning.