Video: Children in Need's Big Learner Relay comes to Larne

A Larne driving school has done its bit to raise funds for Children in Need by taking part in the charity's Big Learner Relay yesterday (November 1).

The UK-wide relay is just one of the fundraising initiatives taking place during the annual charity campaign.

Children in Need mascot Pudsey put in a special appearance at ASDA Larne as part of the charity's Big Learner Relay.

Children in Need mascot Pudsey put in a special appearance at ASDA Larne as part of the charity's Big Learner Relay.

It kicked off on November 1 at Belfast Castle, with the BLR Pudsey top box to be transported from one driving school car to the next over the 15 day event.

The first leg followed a route from Belfast to Carrick and then Larne, following on to Crumlin, Sprucefield, Ballynahinch, Clough, Saintfield, Comber and Bangor.

Organisers were due to head to Aberdeen for the second leg through Scotland today.

The relay will cover 3000 miles' worth of driving lessons across the UK, ending with a grand finale on November 17 at Knowsley Safari Park, Liverpool.

Yvonne Best with learner driver, Jack Baxter at ASDA Larne.

Yvonne Best with learner driver, Jack Baxter at ASDA Larne.

Driving schools across the UK have been asking local people and businesses to sponsor a dot on their learner cars as part of the campaign, alongside a host of other fundraising activities.

Participating as one of the 'lead' cars in the relay was Larne-based Best Driving School, owned by Yvonne Best.

Children in Need mascot Pudsey put in a special appearance at ASDA Larne on Wednesday as the BLR topbox was handed over.

Further events are being planned locally to boost the total, including a competition to guess the number of balloons in a car.

"Some spots are still being sponsored and three primary schools are doing fun days, so we will have a final total after the 17th when the whole relay finishes in Liverpool," Yvonne added.

With £6500 and counting in donations so far, the Northern Ireland total for the Big Learner Relay has already surpassed its initial target of £5000.

2017 is the fourth year of the relay, which has in the past raised over £250,000 for Children in Need.

It is hoped that next year, even more driving schools in Northern Ireland will take part, allowing the relay to expand into the east of the province.