Celebs help out Scots kids by donating their doodles

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By Alexander Lawrie

A GROUP of Scots schoolkids have attracted help from an army of top celebrities to help them raise much needed cash for their local play area.

The quick-thinking youngsters wrote hundreds of letters to stars of sport, stage and screen asking for a personal doodle to auction of in aid of their appeal.

And among the 50 big names to reply with drawings and signed photos were names such as Joan Collins, Dawn French, David Jason, Peter Capaldi and Stephen Fry.

The fundraising auction has been organised by youngsters at Castlebrae High School in Edinburgh to raise funds for kids’ play areas in under-privileged Craigmillar.

Organised by the school’s Eco Committee, the online auction of ‘Doodles from the Stars’ arose following a survey among the kids which called for better play facilities in the area.

Celebs line up to help out

The doodles have been on exhibition at an Edinburgh art gallery and have been on display at a local Borders bookstore before ending up on auction site eBay.

Other celebs to join in the fun include Fawlty Tower’s star Andrew Sachs, 60s supermodel Twiggy and Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park.

The stars of TVs Taggart including Blythe Duff, Alex Norton and John Michie have all contributed to the worthwhile cause.

But the doodle currently attracting the most attention on the auction site is a colourful flower arrangement by former-MI5 boss Stella Rimmington.

Clare Halliday, from Castle Rock Housing Association, has been helping the kids with the community fundraising project.

She said: “Children from the school’s Eco Committee are behind this idea and have shown enormous levels of creativity, enthusiasm and sheer doggedness in chasing down celebrities for their contributions.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support shown to the initiative by some very famous and busy people and we are hoping that a good response to the auction, along with contributions from charitable trusts and other funding sources will raise the £215,000 required to provide play and kickabout facilities the growing population of young people in the area badly need.”

Idea all kids own idea

Artist and comedian Pam Ayres has contributed a beautifully painted watercolour doodle and Scots actor Peter Capaldi has shown his considerable skill for caricature.

Kirsty Croll, Castlebrae’s Eco School Co-ordinator, said: “The whole idea of approaching the stars was all down to the kids at Castlebrae Community High School, along with others in Craigmillar area, they have been participating in a survey of what we should use some of the money raised from the Doodles auction on.

“Our first target is the Hays Estate in Craigmillar and so far 270 young people have commented on what they’d like to see there in terms of new play facilities. We are currently analysing the results of the survey with the help of Pete Gregson from Edinburgh City Council.

“It was initially designed as a consultation for pupils in the Craigmillar community to help build new facilities for all, through efforts they made themselves. We’re all really proud of the kids and their efforts and they are a credit to the whole of Castlebrae Community High School and wider community.

“Hopefully the auction will do well and we can raise a lot of cash for, what is a really worthy cause.”

The closing date for bids for the unique drawings is tonight (Wed) at 7pm.

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