PUPILS at a York primary academy got a well-deserved pat on the back from a giant teddy bear after they raised £6,000.

Acomb School celebrated a year of fundraising for St Leonard’s Hospice with a visit from mascot, Lenny the bear.

Head teacher, Lee Haynes, said: “The support and generosity of children and their families has been amazing in raising this fantastic total.

"The work of the hospice is so vital and has touched the lives of so many people in our community over the years that we wanted to do something to help as a school.

"We hope that our work will inspire others to do the same and support this very worthwhile charity.”

The school has been working hard all year to raise money for the charity beginning last September with staff taking part in the ‘It’s a Knockout’ tournament on the Knavesmire which raised £400.

Other fundraising activities have included a sponsored bounce and a move-round-the-school-a-thon which helped to bring in a staggering £3,070.

Donations taken at the school nativities, Key Stage 2 carol concert and the Lower Key Stage 2 performance of ‘Hoodwinked’ added a further £666 and pupils in Year 6 also donated some of their profits from the ‘Fiver Challenge’ project.

Staff have also been donning their running shoes to help raise money; Miss Johnson completed the London Marathon in April raising £736; Miss Peggs ran the Leeds Half Marathon in May raising £385 and Mrs Forrest raised £140 taking part in the St Leonard’s Hospice Midnight Walk in June.

The school’s main entrance has been home to a ‘whirly’ coin ‘thingamajig’ with children and staff alike dropping in coins to help raise the total.

A spokesperson for St Leonard’s Hospice said: “The staff, children and their families have done an amazing job this year raising all of this money and we are really grateful for all of their support.”

The school held a special assembly to hand over the cheque and invited Lenny the Bear to help celebrate the children’s hard work and fundraising efforts.

Acomb is part of the Pathfinder Multi Academy Trust.