MORE than 430 children and 60 staff at Forest & Sandridge School in Melksham have so far raised £864 for charity after unleashing their inner Elf.

Everyone donned green suits, stripey socks, pointy ears and hats with bells on last Friday (December 7) to raise funds for the local branch of the Alzheimer’s Society charity.

They are among a number of local organisations out to show there’s no better way to help

dementia sufferers than signing up for Elf Day.

Mariana Lewis, leader of the school council and a Year 3 teacher, said: “Everybody dressed up, whether it was hats, socks, pointy ears and shoes.

“Each child donated £2 to take part and so far we’ve raised £864 and are hoping to reach a £1,000 by Christmas.

“It’s the first time we’ve done this and it seemed to be well received and embraced by everyone.

“It was all good wholesome fun and we also raised awareness of dementia in all of the classes.

“The children learned that small acts of kindness can make a huge difference to people

living with dementia.”

Alzheimer’s Society hopes more organisations follow Forest & Sandridge’s example by joining in the fun to help improve the lives of people with dementia today, and to fund research for tomorrow.

There are 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, including 7,000 people who have been diagnosed with the condition in Wiltshire.

The national figure is set to rise to one million by 2021 and dementia is now the UK’s biggest killer, with someone developing it every three minutes.

Lucie Fowler, community fundraiser for the Alzheimer’s Society in Melksham, said: “By joining us this Elf Day you’ll be raising vital funds in the fight against dementia.

“As the UK’s leading dementia charity, we work tirelessly to challenge perceptions, fund research, and improve and provide care and support.

“Too many are facing the condition alone without adequate support. We urgently need to find a cure and offer help and understanding to people affected.”