BUDDING entrepreneurs have topped the £50,000 mark in a decade-long fundraising effort for destitute children in Africa.

Every year students from the Allertonshire School in Northallerton design, produce and sell Christmas cards in aid of Imagine, a charity which helps children in Mozambique.

This year the mini-entrepreneurial contest raised another £1,087 bringing the running total to more than £50,000.

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Students formed into micro-businesses appointing managing directors and finance directors and completing market research to pitch their cards at the right price.

They then sold them to friends, family, on the market and to their former primary schools, with prizes for the best performers.

A special awards assembly was staged with guests Richard Halstead, from sponsors Ricoh, and local businessman Marcus Grover.

The students heard that their fundraising this year would help put a roof on a new kindergarten. In the past it has paid for uniforms, shoes and school furniture.

Sigston House raised the most money with £365.54, while form SS took the honours in the class competition.

Jess Ayre achieved the top position in the individual fundraising contest with Beth Wakeling and Grace Cooke a close second.

Mr Halstead said: “Every year I come here to present the prizes it strikes me how many skills the students are using effectively to raise much-needed funds.”

Mr Grover, a Rotarian, also spoke of his travels in Africa to help the poverty-struck people.

“Reaching £50,000 for people who have nothing is an incredible milestone for which you should be congratulated,” he added.