Red Nose Day 2013: Cash to be raised and grants to giveaway as big day approaches
One of Comic Relief's three giant DiNoseSaurs was given a warm welcome on a chilly day during a whistle-stop visit to rally the troops ahead of Red Nose Day.
Shoppers and residents may have spotted a rather unusual looking visitor stomping around the city centre.
Dinomite – the Nose with Toes – mascot was on a mission to encourage fund-raisers to get their thinking caps on and "do something funny for money" on Friday, March 15.
A Comic Relief spokeswoman said: "Dinomite appeared to be having a great deal of fun in Leicester, seeing the sights and sounds of the city for himself.
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"He is on a mission to visit the furthest regions of the United Kingdom and was warmed up by his welcome to the city on what was a very cold day."
Dinomite was seen mixing with shoppers at the Clock Tower before being given a tour of the National Space Centre.
He stopped to pose for a photograph with the father of tourism himself, Thomas Cook, at his statue outside the train station, before a visit to Abbey Pumping Station.
The mascot was later seen queuing to see the Richard III exhibition at the Guildhall.
In a plea to fund-raisers, Comic Relief chief executive Kevin Cahill said: "Red Nose Day 2013 is heading your way on March 15, when the people will once again be asked to do something funny for money.
"The money will help change the lives of poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged people right here in Leicestershire, across the UK and Africa."
During his visit, Dinomite stopped to say hello to a Leicester Mercury vendor in Gallowtree Gate.
In conjunction with the Mercury, Comic Relief is also giving away £50,000 to organisations in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland that are "doing great work to help local people living tough lives". Grants of between £500 and £1,000 are available to small, grassroots organisations in the area with an annual income of less than £100,000.
Supporters are being urged to "grab a red nose before it goes" as they finalise their fund-raising plans.
The are available at Sainsbury's stores, Oxfam shops and on the Red Nose Day website.
They cost £1, with at least 60p going to Comic Relief. For fund-raising ideas, visit the website.
The deadline for grant applications from the Red Nose Day Community Cash Fund, which are being distributed by the Leicestershire and RutlandCommunity Foundation, is March 15.
To find out if your group or charity is eligible, visit the foundation website.
The Mercury would like to hear about your ideas and plans to raise money for the Red Nose Day appeal.
Call reporter David Owen on 0116 222 4277 or e-mail: