SEVEN hundred pupils from schools on Tyneside were channelling famous names from the silver screen to raise money for charity.

Youngsters from Newcastle High School for Girls and Fellside Primary School in Whickham took part in fundraising ‘Film Fun Run’ events dressed as their favourite film characters. The runs were organised by international children’s charity COCO (Comrades of Children Overseas) and sponsored by the Newcastle office of global law firm Womble Bond Dickinson, as part of the build up to the first ever Newcastle International Film Festival (NIFF).

On Friday 23 March, hundreds of pupils from the junior school at Newcastle High School for Girls tackled a 2km run in costume, with each girl raising money for Newcastle-based COCO, which carries out vital work in East Africa to help improve the quality of education for children living in poor and marginalised communities.

The runs are taking place just a few days before the opening of the first Newcastle International Film Festival, which will run from March 29 to April 1.

COCO was co-founded by Steve Cram CBE and British Army Major Jim Panton in 2000. It works with communities in remote regions of the developing world on projects to provide children with access to the education that is essential for a good start in life.

Since its inception, the charity has raised more than £4m.