CHILDREN in Need celebrations are underway in Swindon as a bright yellow pedal bus continues its 100-mile route around Wiltshire to raise money for deprived youngsters.

BBC Wiltshire’s Breakfast show presenter Ben Prater is spending this week taking his four-wheeled vehicle on the marathon fundraiser, encouraging the county to ‘Pedal for Pudsey’.

He has already taken the bus, adorned with decorations and with space for eight enthusiastic pedallers, for a spin around the Magic Roundabout after setting off from Prospect Place on Monday.

And today Swindon College staff and students zoomed around campus to show their support for the cause as excited spectators cheered them on.

Eight pupils from the Foundation Learning course – Sophie Choules, Dan Summers, Megan Thomas, Ross Leahy, Rohan Rodrigues, Aaron Mankoo and Connor Foster – along with their tutor Sheryal Wernham hopped aboard the charity bus and pedalled with all their energy.

Meanwhile indoors, students from the college’s salon were offering all kinds of beauty treatments in return for donations to Children in Need.

Cooking student Daniella Smith, 17, and Hannah Iles, 16, who is studying beauty therapy, were offering hand and arm massages, hair styling and manicures at their stall.

“We’ve had seven customers so far!” they said.

Daniel Scullane, head of commercial, sport and public services at Swindon College, said: “We have students doing weird and wonderful beauty treatments.

“They’re even offering to do ‘glitter beards’ but I haven’t seen anyone with one yet!”

Computing students at the college will also be taking donations in return for a go on some classic arcade games.

Just two hours later, learners and instructors from Swindon Young Drivers – a charity which gets kids behind the wheel to teach them about road safety – set off from the town’s karting arena to complete their leg of a 3,000-mile relay around the country.

With a mini Pudsey bear sat on top of the roof of the lead car, the convoy set off beeping and in high spirits as a much bigger Pudsey waved them off with the Mayor of Swindon, Councillor Maureen Penny.

Their first stop was Chippenham, followed by Cirencester, where more drivers will take over in the relay.

“Some of the learners are driving the cars and in some cases the instructors are,” said Jo Silvester, chairman of Swindon Young Drivers.

“We’ve had some great sponsors – Toyota, Repose Beauty, and Dauntless gin to name a few.”

Hannah Pearce, 17, who has been learning to drive for just two months, waited anxiously for the convoy to leave with her driving instructor sat in the passenger seat.

“I’m really nervous!” she said.

The fundraising project has raised £42,000 in total this year and £250,000 during the last three years.

The Mayor of Swindon was handed a cheque for £1,200 raised by the Swindon Young Drivers team alone.

To complete some of your own laps on the Pudsey pedal bus visit BBC Wiltshire’s Pedal for Pudsey webpage for timings.