CHILDREN across the borough of Torfaen celebrated Children In Need this year with the help of a special guest.

TJ the Bear is the playful mascot for the local authority’s Play Service and he has been was very busy on Friday.

It was a busy day for TJ, who toured play sessions throughout the borough, including at Nant Celyn Primary School, St David’s Primary School, Blenheim Road Primary School, Penygarn Primary School, Crownbridge Specialist School.

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Fairhill Family Play Session, and sessions with Torfaen Leisure Trust, The Family Information Service and at the Wood Club Community Play Club also saw a visit from the special guest.

Play Service manager Julian Davenne said: “It’s been lovely seeing the children’s faces today and it’s really important that we recognise the good work and outcomes of Children in Need with so many local groups benefiting from the charity.”

Schools around Torfaen also got in to the fundraising spirit with Cwmffrwdoer Primary School pupils raising £227, Blenheim Road pupils and their families raising £210, and children at Llanyravon Primary School being encouraged to wear odd socks to raise money for the charity.

Pupils at George Street Primary School donned their pyjamas to take part in a learning walk around the school.

A number of projects in Torfaen have benefited from funding from Children In Need. The HWB Torfaen received £54,498 to help disadvantaged youngsters in Blaenavon, and in Pontypool, Cyfannol Women’s Aid received £111,985 of funding for a mentoring project to support boys and young men affected by domestic abuse.

Also in Pontypool, Hope GB were granted £30,000 to provide a youth club for children and young people on the autism spectrum, and Cwmbran Centre For Young People received £30,000 to provide life skills sessions for young people not in education or employment.