These students dressed as iconic Leeds landmarks to raise money for charity
The house of girls have currently raised over £2,500 for Student Minds
A group of Leeds students, who go by the name @whatahessle, have raised over £2,500 for Student Minds by hosting fancy dress nights each week in their Hyde Park house.
So far, they’ve dressed as Disney films, Mamma Mia characters, cereal, that pink glittery eyeshadow meme, and – our favourite – iconic Leeds landmarks.
The four girls, Abby Barker, Gemma Jones, Rachael Milner and Lydia Flack are all masters students at the University of Leeds, hosting themed dinners each week.
Student Minds, the charity they are fundraising for “works with students, service users, professionals and academic to develop new and innovative ways to improve the mental health of students.”
The Tab Leeds spoke to the girls, who revealed they chose the charity Student Minds as they “support mental health and this is something [we believe] needs more support and attention.”
Their fundraiser, hosted on Saturday 6th March involved the group dressing up as the theme ‘Leeds’. Let’s just say the results were…astonishing and their creativity is incredible.
The group exceptionally showed off the famous Leeds student landmarks: The Parkinson Building, the dreaded Hyde Park road blocks, Abu Bakr and the 24/7 Sainos.
The girls usually incorporate food into their fancy-dress evenings, and their Leeds-themed dinner involved an Espresso Martini from Coffee on the Crescent, Bakery 164 sandwiches, Old Bar potato stacks and Dukes Donuts for dessert.
The group posted on Facebook stating that “Students have it tough right now”, with “opportunities missed both socially and academically”, also acknowledging the class of 2020 who missed their graduation.
They realise the struggles students are going through, saying: “it can be isolating and difficult to make new connections this year,” and they hoped they could “make others in Leeds and further aware that they aren’t alone.”
With the girls currently fundraising £2,500, they are blown away by the support and “had no idea it would get the reception it has and we are super pleased.”
What A Hessle plan to continue their face-dress antics until the end of lockdown: “We plan to continue our themed dinners whilst lockdown lasts to keep up the entertainment.”
When The Leeds Tab asked about plans after lockdown, they revealed we might even see them in Fruity dressed as Abu Bak, if we’re lucky: “You’ll see us in our costumes at fruity.” After restrictions are fully lifted they plan to “throw a themed house party”.
When asking them about their favourite memories during lockdown, they spoke fondly of Hyde Park revealing it is “always full of entertainment” and to keep themselves busy they have “done some local restaurant cook at home kits and watched some live-streamed theatre.”
Kate Mitchell, the Fundraising Officer of Student Minds, told The Leeds Tab: “We are incredibly grateful to the ‘What a Hessle’ team for their incredible support of Student Minds through this creative and innovative fundraising challenge! The money they have raised will enable us to continue to expand and develop our work across the country.
“This includes listening to the issues students are facing during this time, and supporting them to develop the knowledge, confidence and skills to look after their mental health, support their peers and create change.
“It also includes supporting universities and students’ unions to work in collaboration with their students to take an approach that considers the mental health and wellbeing across every aspect of the university experience.”
Anyone who wants to help by participating or donating to the cause can do so here.
If you are struggling with your mental health, there are several ways to get help:
Visit the Student Minds website at studentminds.org.uk;
Text ‘STUDENT’ or ‘SHOUT’ to 85258;
Call Student Space for FREE on 0808 189 5260 between 4pm – 11pm;
Email [email protected];
Or, you can visit leeds.nightline.ac.uk