Ninety-six excited schoolchildren set off on a sponsored walk along the seafront yesterday.

The children, all in Year 4 at St Andrews Church of England Primary School in Hove, walked for three miles to raise money for the WE charity, which is tackling the global water crisis.

They walked from King Alfred Leisure Centre to the Brighton Palace Pier and back again.

Steve Griffiths, a teacher at the school, said: “We were doing a whole topic on Africa last term, and each pupil had their own country to research and give a presentation on. When they learned about the water shortage that some African countries face, they were quite shocked.

“It is the children’s decision to do something to raise money for a water charity, and it was then we found out about WE’s Walk for Water event. We thought we would do our own version, and the children have so far raised £1,000 between them.”

Many of the children were wearing T-shirts depicting their country’s flag, while others had their faces painted.

Emma Rance, whose ten-year-old son Freddie Rance was taking part in the walk, said: “When the children learned that it was often the girls who have to walk to get water, and that they missed out on education as a result, they felt it was quite unfair. They wanted to do something to help, and it ties in with their school project as well.”

Claire Clapham is a teaching assistant at the school, and her son Sam Clapham, 10, was also walking. She said: “The children learned a lot from their Africa topic, and the lack of clean water inspired them.”