A CHARITY which helps disadvantaged children across the Borders is gearing up for one of its biggest fundraisers of the year so far.

Cash for Kids is taking over Tesco in Galashiels on Friday, in a bid to raise £50,000 for its 500 Faces campaign, which is appealing for 500 people to pledge to raise £100 each over the course of the year.

Local radio presenters Keith Clarkson, Ruairidh Tait and Iain Waugh hope to get the campaign on track by completing a 100-mile cycle challenge, between them in one day, without leaving the Paton Street store.

They are also hoping to be joined at the sponsored event by some familiar faces and shoppers are being encouraged to pop in to show their support for the chance to win their shopping.

Last year, the fundraiser raised more than £23,000 for disadvantaged children in the Borders. 

And, with more than a dozen people already signed up to this year's campaign, the charity hopes to more than double that total over the next 12 months.

Candy Rafferty, Cash for Kids charity manager, said: "Raising £100 is such an easy thing to do over the course of a whole year. So easy, that almost everyone who signed up last year immediately smashed straight through their target and continued fundraising until the end of the year. That kind of generosity meant we were able to help 2,348 children living here, who are facing the daily challenges of poverty, illness and disability. 

"Examples include clothing vouchers and the provision of beds and bedding, putting in safe outdoor and indoor spaces for those on the autistic spectrum, funding a successful behavioural programme for children under the threat of exclusion from school, providing places on the Tall Ships Race to help teenagers with self-esteem and electric wheelchairs for children whose lives were severely impacted by immobility."

The action gets underway at 8.40am and is set to run until 5pm when Tesco staff will be on hand to gunge the presenter who raises the least for the station’s charity.

During the day Radio Borders' breakfast presenter Keith Clarkson, who used to work in a supermarket, will turn back the clock and serve shoppers on the tills, giving them VIP treatment for a small donation. And he says every penny helps.

Keith said: "Although most of us at the station enjoy sport, we're not particularly sporty and would struggle to tell you the last time we got on a bike. But we're confident that, with the public's support, we'll be able to raise lots of money for some of the most vulnerable people in the Borders and north Northumberland. We look forward to seeing you there."

For more details, or to sign-up to become one of Radio Borders 500 Faces, visit www.radioborders.com/faces or turn up on the day.