YOUNGSTERS in Verwood put their martial arts skills to the test to raise cash for a good cause.

Black Belt Academy, which is based in the town, holds classes for children aged four and up.

Simon Bushby, who runs the academy, organised the ‘1,000 techniques’ event at Verwood Hub to raise money for Help for Heroes, with around 30 children aged five and above taking part.

It involved all of the academy’s children’s classes getting together as one to go through 1,000 different martial arts techniques, with Verwood mayor, Cllr Peter Richardson, watching on.

Simon said: “I do adventure racing and one of the races, the Tough Mudder, was in aid of Help for Heroes.

“I thought it was a worthwhile cause to do something for. I got in touch with the local branch and it went from there.

“They have been given sponsorship forms and have been trying to get as much money as possible for the charity.”

At the end of March the academy will hold its graduation and presentation day, where the amount of money raised will be revealed and handed over to the charity.

Cllr Richardson, who said he did Judo in his youth, added: “I think it’s a discipline that’s very important, I hope it goes well.”

Neal Williams, from the Verwood branch of Help for Heroes, said the charity was trying to do as much as it could in the area.

“It transpired into what we’re doing tonight and it’s going to grow from here,” he added.

The Black Belt Academy runs free trials for anyone wanting to get involved.

Contact Simon on 01202 528660.