Like much of the nation this Easter, a group of staff at an Oxford pub are spending the long weekend glued to the sofa.

But this hardy bunch will be outside, dressed in pink and staring not at a television, but at traffic, for 48 hours - all in the name of charity.

Wind, rain, snow and temperatures below freezing are forecast during the event, which began outside the Britannia Inn, in London Road, Headington, at noon yesterday.

Assistant manager Sam Kerry is one of seven staff taking it in turns to complete the sponsored sofa-sit. Speaking after her first two-hour shift, she said: "It's so cold out there I can't feel my feet or my fingers. After I finish in the pub, I will be out there from 12.30am until 10am, doing the night shift.

"I will be wrapping up warm in a sleeping bag with a hot-water bottle, and we have got sandwiches and lots of chocolates."

The rules of the event dictate one person must remain on the sofa at all times, and those taking part are wearing pink in support of Against Breast Cancer, the pub's chosen charity.

Miss Kerry added: "We did have a gazebo to give us some shelter, but that blew down and the poles bent half an hour before we had even started - so we will have to use umbrellas if it rains or snows.

"People walking past are just laughing and staring, but they're all donating. We have got a big banner saying what we are doing and everyone is dressed in pink, so we're very noticeable.

She said they were expecting to raise at least £500.

Head chef Neil Baird, 36, said: "It's freezing but I've wrapped up warm and I'm wearing a pink bra and a pink hat.

"We have already got about £100 from passers-by, so it's all worth it.

"The view from the sofa is just pavement, but we have got the garage over the road and taxi drivers have been stopping and supporting us. I think this will definitely become an annual event and we will do as much as we can for the charity every year."

Barmaid Maria Samuels, 19, said: "I have got five layers on - plus a hat, scarf, gloves - but everyone is smiling, so it's going well and it is all for a good cause. I think if we did it again, it might be a good idea to do it when it's warmer."

The sofa-sitting marathon ends at noon tomorrow.

The pub is also hosting a ladies' night on Wednesday, at 7pm, with representatives from Ann Summers, Virgin Vie and Headington clothes shop Monaco. Ten per cent of sales will go to Against Breast Cancer, along with all money raised from the £4 entry fee.