DRIVING instructors from across Cumbria have joined colleagues from all over the country to help raise money for Children in Need.

Instructors have been covering their cars in colourful spots and inviting people to sponsor them as part of the Big Learner Relay, now in its fifth year.

The relay began last week in Jersey, followed by a day in Northern Ireland, and learner drivers and their instructors have been carrying a special board on top of their cars up and down the country.

The Cumbria leg of its journey kicked off when the relay team first stopped in Kendal on Saturday, before making their way north to Carlisle on Sunday.

A brief pit stop at Houghton Hall Garden Centre in Carlisle enabled more local instructors and pupils to join the fold before the relay team made their way to their stop at the Travelodge in Dumfries.

It will end on Friday, November 16 - the day the main Children in Need appeal is broadcast on the BBC – and over a 17-day period the relay will have travelled about 3,000 miles.

About 30 cars took part in the relay while in Cumbria.

Kevin Gibson, owner of Spot On Driving Tuition from Workington, joined in from Egremont, and led the leg from Workington Reds Ground to Wigton Rugby Club.

He told the News & Star: “It went fantastically after Lesleyann Beatson handed the roof box to us.

“My learner Katie drove about 160 miles and drove on the motorway twice, having never driven on one before.

“There were three local instructors, and we called ourselves Team West Cumbria.

“At Wigton, I handed over to another instructor and there were four or five more joined in.”

Becky Wilcox, from Carlisle, who runs the Little School of Motoring, joined the relay at Wigton Rugby Club.

She said: “It was an amazing event, it’s so nice to see so many local driving instructors come together and get involved for charity.

“Steve Philipson leaded the convoy of cars from Wigton to Carlisle, with Gemma Turner taking over to Dumfries.”

So far, about £24,000 has been raised from the Big Learner Relay for Children in Need.