Students hosting Leeds themed dress up event to help mental health charity

Four University of Leeds students are set to host  a dress up event to raise cash for national mental health charity Student Minds.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 4th March 2021, 11:04 am
Four Leeds students are set to host fancy dress up event to raise money for a national mental health charity Student Minds. They are encouraging people to dress up and make a donation to Student Minds for the Leeds themed fancy dress event held on Saturday March 6. Pictured are Rachael Milner, 21, Lydia Flack, 22, Abby Barker, 21, and Gemma Jones, 21. Picture: James Hardisty

The master's students and housemates are hosting a Leeds themed dress event for Uni Mental Health Day on Saturday March 6.

The four friends are encouraging people to dress up as their favourite Leeds location, food or memory, and make a donation to Student Minds for the event they are calling 'What A Hessle.'

Abby Barker, 21, Lydia Flack, 22, Rachael Milner, 21, and Gemma Jones, 21, got the idea from the themed fancy dress nights they have held every Saturday since September 2020.

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Four Leeds students are set to host a fancy dress up event called 'What A Hessle' to raise money for a national mental health charity Student Minds. They are encouraging people to dress up and make a donation to Student Minds for the Leeds themed fancy dress event held on Saturday March 6. Pictured are Rachael Milner, 21, Lydia Flack, 22, Abby Barker, 21, and Gemma Jones, 21. Photo: James Hardisty

Themes already covered to help ease their lockdown boredom include Chicken Run, St Trinians and Shrek.

The students said lockdown restrictions have made them much more resourceful in making costumes without outside help.

Abby said: “Before you’d spend ages thinking about an Otley Run costume and go out and buy loads for it, but actually we have made 15 costumes and bought nothing so no waste.

"We saved money, yet it still has the same effect."

Four Leeds students are set to host a fancy dress up event called 'What A Hessle' to raise money for a national mental health charity Student Minds. They are encouraging people to dress up and make a donation to Student Minds for the Leeds themed fancy dress event held on Saturday March 6. Pictured are Rachael Milner, 21, Lydia Flack, 22, Abby Barker, 21, and Gemma Jones, 21. Photo: James Hardisty

The friends, who have already raised around £2,000 for Student Minds, are encouraging people to join them in the Leeds themed fancy dress event.

Lydia said: "We wanted to find a charity that was really focused on improving students' mental health.

"Our theme nights have been so instrumental in helping us stay positive over the lockdowns.

"We want to raise money and raise awareness of what students are going through right now."

Gemma said: “It is difficult to put on a brave face all the time so that people can’t discuss things.

"It’s why we wanted to go with the Leeds theme as its community based and we wanted people to feel that they aren’t alone.”

Anyone wanting to join in the fun and help them raise money for Student Minds can follow the house at @whatahessle on Instagram where you will find a link for donations.

- If you are struggling with your mental health and need to talk to someone you can contact Student Minds.

There is also now a specific helpline at Student Minds for Coronavirus worries: 0808 189 5260 or text ‘STUDENT’ to 85258.