A CHARITY event designed to raise awareness of world drought had donations flowing in free and fast.

Students at West Park Academy, in Darlington, expected their cake stall to raise about £30, but a wave of support raised almost £200, which will be donated to Water Aid.

Pupils have been looking at the global ecology including drought and famine in other countries and the impact of climate change on places like Uganda.

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Teacher Jane Welsh said: "We were delighted with the support of staff and students and didn't expect to raise this amount of money.

"Donations to Water Aid go an incredibly long way. Just £2 will buy a rainwater collection device, while £5 gets you a hand pump and £10 sinks a well. About £15 will buy tools or train a pump mechanic."

Tom Klein, seven, said: "We take our water for granted; you just turn the tap. But in these other countries water is precious and many people are thirsty which affects their health."

Casey Richards, seven, added: "Even when they have water it is often dirty which makes everyone really sick. So we were really pleased to do our bit to help."

Older children at the school have formed an eco-committee, which examines ways to make West Park more environmentally friendly.

Mrs Welsh said: "They come up with some really good ideas and even go around school making sure the lights are switched off. They are also interested in bio-diversity and have come up with ways to attract wildlife to the school grounds."