MORE than 100 drivers took part in The Bears Big Bash and raised £22,500 for a charity which helps sick children.

National banger racing team The Bears, who are based in Brighton, staged their sixth charity event at Arlington Stadium near Eastbourne.

All profits went to Rockinghorse’s ventilator appeal for the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton.

The charity launched an appeal earlier this summer to provide further ventilators for the High Dependency Unit.

Michael Burnage MBE, event organiser and Rockinghorse ambassador, said: “It has been extremely challenging to raise the funds this year in what is a very difficult economic climate, but on the day the sun shone (maybe a little too much!) and the spectators were as generous as ever.

“Every family in Sussex has had or knows someone who has been treated up at The Alex.

“With personal experiences within our own team, it is extremely important to us all to support the great work of the hospital and its staff.”

In previous years, The Bears has raised funds to enable Rockinghorse to buy vital heart monitors for the Alex, and life-saving defibrillators for The Connor Saunders Foundation – of which the charity is a supporter.

Hollie Trezise, schools and community fundraising manager at Rockinghorse, said: “We can’t thank Michael Burnage and The Bears team enough for their incredible fundraising efforts again this year – what a fantastic amount of money raised!

“Their donation will go a long way to support our current ventilator appeal for the High Dependency Unit at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital in Brighton.”

To find out more, visit

Rockinghorse is a Brighton-based charity that has been supporting children in Sussex for more than 50 years.

It was set up in 1967 by Dr Trevor Mann, who recognised there was a real need for additional resources to improve healthcare services for sick children and babies.

The charity is best-known as the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) in Brighton.

It is a vital supporter of the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

Rockinghorse has a high profile across Sussex.