Worle woman dressing as an elf and getting up to mischief to raise awareness of mental health
PUBLISHED: 13:00 11 December 2017
A woman from Worle has been dressing up as an elf and putting herself into some unusual situations to raise money for a mental health charity.
Lou Parslow dressed up last Christmas to create pictures and videos for her friends and family of her performing light-hearted sketches all over Weston.
In the end, she raised £441 for the mental health charity Mind and decided to open the group up this year so more people could see what she was doing over the festive period.
Lou said: “My friends and family loved it last year when I shared the pictures of me getting up to mischief.
“I did everything from serving drinks to having the police pretend to arrest me and being a mannequin in a shop window. I also played the drums for a band.”
Lou, aged 44, chose to raise money and awareness for mental health over the festive period as it can be a difficult period for some people.
She said: “Everyone thinks Christmas is lovely, and there are always adverts about buying stuff and families being together.
“But for some people it is really depressing and I wanted to raise awareness of mental health, because you cannot see it.
“I had a breakdown and people did not know how to help.
“A few months later, I snapped my achilles tendon and the help I had because it was a physical injury was so different.”
Lou said people with mental health conditions are often overlooked because their illness is invisible.
Lou said: “Always be kind, you never know what is going on in someone’s life. We all know someone who deals with this each day and yet it’s still not understood properly.
“I believe if you see someone you should just smile because you never know what is going on behind people’s faces and it might mean the world to them.”
Already this year, Lou has dressed up as an elf while pretending to be a mechanic, serving sausages at a burger bar and has spent time at a GP surgery.
Lou said: “I don’t mind showing myself up if it is raising money.
“A lot of the time, I just do it if I have a spare moment.”
To donate to Lou’s efforts, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/TheRealChristmasElf and view her elf activities by searching for The Real Christmas Elf on Facebook.