TWO Kingswinford pals have been raising cash for charities close to their heart by doing what they love best - making people laugh.

Carly Grandini Williams and Andrea Childs raised £2,000 for charities Dudley Mind and A Gift to Lift last year by selling calendars featuring their parody photographs of famous paintings, films and album covers and their endeavours saw them named Dudley Covid Community Champions.

The pair, who shared their comic images on their Facebook page Andrea & Carly’s Laughter Emporium to ease the boredom and gloom of lockdown, also received a personal note of thanks from the Lord Lieutenant for the West Midlands for their charity efforts.

They've also been invited to the Mayor of Dudley's garden party on July 9 where volunteers and frontline workers will be honoured for their work during the Covid crisis.

Despite becoming local celebrities off the back of their comedic fundraising antics - Andrea stressed the fame "hasn't gone to our heads" and she said she and Carly have continued to raise funds.

Their latest fundraiser took shape after they came up with an idea for a 'mystery night away sweepstake' which would see the pair having to go and stay at whichever location was randomly selected in a charity draw.

Andrea said: "Over the years we have abandoned the husbands and gone off on road trips around the country, and as we had been going stir crazy indoors for a year we took our first chance to escape last weekend and linked it to our fundraising. The ‘mystery night away sweepstake’ was born."

The pair drew up a list of 63 locations for a trip away within a 60-mile radius of Kingswinford and published it on their Facebook page inviting people to buy tickets at £5 per location to join in and support their fundraising initiative, which raised nearly £180 in the first 12 hours.

They then held a live FA Cup style draw on Facebook and all destinations, including picturesque locations like Stratford, Warwick and Worcester, were thrown into a bucket.

However - the pair ended up randomly selecting an overnight stay just six miles away in Wolverhampton!

Andrea said: "Out of all 63 places we could have gone we ended up with Wolverhampton. The weekend went brilliantly though - with a trip to Wightwick Manor followed by lunch at The Mermaid, then we caught the number 9 bus into Wolverhampton.

"Once at our destination, we had a series of frankly downright ridiculous challenges to complete and post on our page to keep our followers amused including recreating two of the city’s famous statues - Prince Albert and Lady Wulfrun."

The stunt raised nearly £450 and plenty of smiles. Behind the laughter, however, Andrea's charity efforts have been in memory of her 20-year-old daughter Beth who died three years ago.

The money raised from all the fundraising is being split between blood cancer charity A Gift to Lift, which supported Beth during her fight with leukaemia, and Dudley Mind which means a great deal to Carly's family.

Following the overwhelming success of their fun-filled fundraising endeavours to date, Carly and Andrea aim to keep going and they are now planning to create a pack of charity Christmas cards featuring recreations of festive scenes of old.