THERE are just 24 hours to go before crazy characters all over Britain say Pants to Poverty and raise millions of pounds for Comic Relief.

Already, thousands of pounds have come out of the appeal fund to help improve life for older people in Worcestershire and Herefordshire.

Cash injections totalling £57,000 guaranteed the launch of Age Concern's Voice of Older People Project offering 55 to 105-year-olds the chance to have their say in the community.

A spokesman for Age Concern Hereford and Worcester said the project had given the age group a chance to talk about what they wanted and what they could offer other people.

"We knew older people did not get many opportunities to speak up for themselves," the spokesman added.

"This meant decisions about the way things were run locally, including council services, were made without them being consulted.

"Once the project was launched older people very quickly became involved in the planning for local health and social services."

Further donations from this year's Comic Relief money will ensure the continuation and expansion of the service.

Six 10-year-olds from Pinvin Middle School were today, still counting the cash raised last night by swimming lengths at Droitwich Sports and Leisure Centre.

And tots from The Kindergarten Nurseries in Worcester, have already raised more than £150 by walking through the city dressed as cows and will be wearing red pants over their uniforms on Red Nose Day.

Teachers were due to be sponged and mummified today, at the Royal Grammar School, Worcester and charitable children at Sytchampton Endowed First School were "filling their pants" to raise funds by sticking as many coins as possible on red cardboard undies.

Tomorrow, the Evening News has promised to give 1p to Comic Relief from every copy of the paper sold.