One man's fancy dress challenge brings Christmas funding boost to mental health charities
- Credit: Nicholas Jemetta
A Hitchin man has raised over £5,000 and counting for multiple charities by wearing fancy dress to work.
Father of two Nick Jemetta, 37, has worn nearly 35 different fancy dress outfits across two lockdowns, attending hundreds of video calls.
He’s used fancy dress to make people laugh and to encourage more conversations about mental health, having seen his own mental health boosted by wearing the costumes.
Nick is approaching the end of his second challenge, wearing 12 Christmas-themed costumes to create festive cheer, joy and laughter for the elderly, isolated and lonely in the town.
Having recognised that this Christmas will be like no other, he felt compelled to support the mental health of those in the local community who are most at risk of feeling isolated and lonely.
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In his latest challenge he’s raising money for Age UK Hertfordshire and North Herts and Stevenage Samaritans, and he is exceeding his £1,000 target, with donations of nearly £1,500.
Combined with the money he raised during the first lockdown, he’s now raised over £5,000 for charity this year.
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With his own lived experience of mental ill health, Nick knows how what it’s like to feel isolated and alone.
Nick said: “This year has been like no other. Our lives have been restricted more than we ever thought possible, with serious consequences for the physical and mental health of millions of people across the country.
"I wanted to do something to help – and while I’m not a doctor or nurse, I’ve found my calling in dressing up to make everyone around me laugh.
"It’s been brilliant fun and I’m proud of what I’ve achieved. I’m most proud of the impact the donations will have, especially for Age UK Herts and Samaritans North Herts.
"Knowing the money will directly support the most isolated, lonely and emotionally distressed people in my community is the best Christmas present I could have hoped for!”