HUNDREDS of youngsters stepped out to bring their school thousands of pounds closer to achieving a performing arts dream.

Wolsingham School and Community College needs to raise £50,000 before March so that it can bid for specialist status as a performing arts college. But despite the backing of sponsors including music legend Neil Tennant, of the Pet Shop Boys, it faced a race against time to raise the last few thousand pounds.

More than 500 walkers came to the rescue last Friday by completing a five-mile return trek to Tunstall Reservoir armed with sponsorship from their families and friends.

Headteacher Mitch O'Reilly said: "The whole school community came together and it was very well received by people in the area.

"It was very encouraging to see so many people get involved."