Kettering charity worker running £2-a-go fancy dress hire service to help food bank
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Kettering children and parents will be able to dress up in style thanks to the brainwave of a charity worker who is helping struggling families in the cost-of-living crisis.
Kelly Mercer, who founded Highfield food bank, wanted to extend help to families for dressing-up events like World Book Day, Halloween and Christmas.
Using fancy dress items already donated by a local supermarket, she popped a request on social media for further costumes surplus to requirement.
Since starting in September she has now accrued more than 200 outfits for children and adults that have been washed, ironed and restored to loan out.
She said: “It’s awful if you have a child that has to go to school without a costume. Originally it was going to be for World Book Day but now it’s Halloween, Christmas and children’s parties.
"I woke up one day and just decided to do it. People just keep on donating them. I have a lady who has volunteered to do any repairs. I wash and iron them and store them ready.”
As well as a whole universe of superheroes, princesses and witches, there are dozens of practically perfect Mary Poppins outfits as well as Woody the cowboy and Willy Wonka.
Kelly is charging £2 per costume for up to one week. All donations will then be used to provide goodies for Highfield food bank.
She says that demand for the food bank ‘went crazy’ during Covid and that they are still as busy now.
With more and more costumes being donated daily, Kelly is hoping a storage solution can be found as she runs out of room in her house.
Kelly added: “”I’d like to thank all the people who have donated costumes. Now, I either need a ten-bedroom house or if someone has storage that would be amazing.”
Costumes will be much in demand with requests coming for zombies, werewolves, witches and spooks for upcoming Halloween events.
Highfield Community Centre will host a Halloween dance party on Monday, October 30, from 5.30pm to 7pm, their first since Covid.
To hire a costume for £2 or to make donations to the ‘Children's fancy dress and World Book Day outfits for hire’ go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/6255980311174676