YOUNGSTERS dressed in their best to emerge as young charity champions.

And thanks to their efforts, together with those of parents and team members, the youngsters attached to the Bury-based Mulberry Bush Nursery Group have raised an impressive £6,500 which has been split between two deserving good causes.

During the group’s annual charity event, children from Mulberry’s nurseries in Tottington, Whitefield, Walshaw and Walmersley were asked to raise sponsor money for dressing up in a variety of different patterns.

The youngsters, aged up to five, had great fun while dressing up to help others.

The money raised was presented to The Good Life Orphanage (GLO) and Alder Hey Children’s Charity at an event attended by the Mayor of Bury, Cllr Michelle Wiseman. Each received a cheque for £3,250.

The GLO is in Mombasa, Kenya, and was established by and continues to be maintained and run by Bury couple, Mary and Kevin Maguire.

Paul Robinson, director of the family-run Mulberry Bush Nursery Group, said: “We have set up ongoing links with the GLO so we can see exactly how the money is helping. Each nursery also provides ongoing monetary support by sponsoring a child at the orphanage.

“Alder Hey Children's Charity supports Alder Hey Children’s Hospital which sees 270,000 young patients and their families every year.

“Molly Denney, who recently attended our Tottington nursery, was admitted to Alder Hey Hospital in May to undergo a painful procedure to lengthen her leg. Molly suffers from proximal femoral focal deficiency, a rare birth defect which means her left femur is much shorter than her right.”

Mr Robinson added: “The nursery group has held an annual charity event for the past 24 years, raising in excess of £85,000 for more than 45 different charities.”

The £6,500 raised this time around smashed the target of £6,000.

Mulberry Bush has been operating since 1990 when it opened its first nursery in Tottington. Three others in Whitefield, Walshaw and Walmersley were launched in 2004, 2006 and 2011.