CHILDREN from schools across south Essex have gathered at the Cliffs Pavilion for a five-day music festival.

More than 2,600 children from 61 schools in Southend, Castle Point and Rayleigh took part in the South East Essex Schools’ Music Association Festival last week.

Organiser Liz Hoskin, said: “The festival is going very well and the weather has been great. We have had a lot of children to organise.

“Every night the children have performed music with the theme of ‘A day in the life of me’.

“The festival has been going for more than 50 years and raises money for charity.

“We have had a collection for parents for one of the charities each night and raised £700 for Peaceful Place.”

This year Peaceful Place, in Rochford, which helps people with dementia, St John Ambulance, the RNLI, NSPCC and the Southend Community Fund have all benefited.