POPULAR eccentric cartoon characters Wallace and Gromit made a rare visit to the North-East in a bid to raise funds for sick children.

The characters paid a visit to the Butterwick Children's Hospice, in Stockton, yesterday to promote Wrong Trousers Day, on June 24.

It is hoped thousands of people across the region will donate £1 to the hospice that day for the privilege of wearing inappropriate trousers.

The national fundraising event is organised by the Wallace and Gromit Children's Foundation, which raises thousands of pounds for hospitals and children's hospices across the UK.

Earlier this year, the Stockton hospice received £10,000 from last year's appeal, but spokeswoman Jackie Leighton is hoping even more people take part this year.

"We are hoping lots of people will get involved because it's a lot of fun and it raises money for a good cause," said Ms Leighton.

"Companies, schools and individuals can arrange to get involved.

"It just involves wearing something that you would not normally wear to work.

"It's usually something whacky and fun that people wear, but a lot of people use it as an opportunity to get dressed up. It's fun."

Anyone interested in taking part in Wrong Trousers Day, or for more information, call the hospice fundraising team on (01642) 624231.