THRIFTY youngsters cashed in on their money making skills to help seriously ill people in their community.

School pupils from 32 school across Rossendale proved every penny counts when raising money for the borough's hospice.

Battling their wits against rival schools, children attempted to fill as many penny collection boxes as possible in the Inter-School Penny Challenge.

The enterprising students got their friends, teachers, parents and families to part with £4,375 by holding superhero days, fining teachers for saying certain words and challenging each other in competitions.

One school even had a supermarket trolley in their reception appealing for donations.

For the fourth consecutive year Haslingden High School collected the most money in the high school category with Helmshore Primary School regaining the trophy for the primary school category.

The winning pre-school was a new winner, Little Stars Pre-School, Helmshore.

Sam Morris, fundraising manager at the hospice, said: “It’s wonderful to see how all the children come up with different ideas to fill their box.

“Each school always puts in the effort to raise as much as possible and we are so grateful to the teachers and parents who support their child.

“Nothing pleases me more than when I hear that a child has gone home and told their parents about how we care for people in the valley.”

It costs the Bacup Road hospice £750,000 each year to continue offering the much needed care and support it gives to those with life limiting illnesses and their families.

Helmshore Primary School’s head, Christine Myers, said: “Well done to all that have taken part in this year’s challenge.

“Our kind-hearted pupils ditched their piggy banks in favour of putting their spare change into a collection box for their local hospice knowing that all the money raised has a positive impact on many individuals and families.”

Louise O’ Sullivan, manager of Little Stars, said: “We are quite a new and small nursery so we were not expecting this at all.

“But myself and the children are so pleased to have been recognised with this award.”