Students at City College Norwich taught by a Smurf

A generous class at City College in Norwich was given an unusual treat on Friday when they were taught by Papa Smurf.

Lecturer Alan Rampling taught his uniformed public services students dressed as the Smurf after running the Great North Run in the same outfit the weekend earlier.

Mr Rampling, 49, told his six classes at the college in Ipswich Road that he would teach a lesson in the outfit to whichever group donated the most to the Royal Air Forces' Association (RAFA).

So on Friday, he kept his word and delighted his students by teaching them dressed in fake ears, a white beard, hat and, most importantly of all, blue paint.

He said: 'It was quite amusing; for some reason they kept laughing at me!'

Mr Rampling ran the Great North Run, in Newcastle, with his 23-year-old daughter Zoe. They both dressed as Smurfs for the run and managed to raise �1,000 through their efforts.

Mr Rampling, from Horstead, said: 'It was brilliant. The crowds were great.

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'We had high fives with the kids and had to stop few times for photos.'

He added that he was no stranger to running half marathons in fancy dress, having previously run as Superman and Tweedledum.

On this occasion, Mr Rampling and his daughter were running for the Royal Air Forces' Association, as Mr Rampling spent 27 years with the RAF, including 11 years as an aircraft engineer and flight sergeant at RAF Coltishall, while his daughter is a dental nurse with the RAF in Litchfield.

They raised money for the charity through sponsorship as well as car boot sales and by holding a bric-a-brac sale at the college.

But when a class said they wanted him to teach them dressed as the Smurf, he came up with the way of collecting more money for the charity.

The winning group was the Uniformed Public Services year 2 group D students, but other classes also enjoyed a surprise visit that day as he went around with a collection box.

Mr Rampling said: 'It has been great to be able to raise money for RAFA as the charity does so much to help current and retired RAF personnel and their dependants. We've had great support from the uniformed public services students at the college and from members of staff.'

Are you raising money for charity? Contact Local Life editor Richard Wood on 01603 772423 or email