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Community / Over £1,000 raised so far as Sandra continues campaign to wear fancy dress for six months

Sandra in three of the costumes she has worn so far.

OVER £1,000 has been raised so far for two good causes thanks to a campaign which is seeing a local woman wear a fancy dress costume every day for six months.

Sandra Manson is donning the outfits to raise money for local mental health charity Mind Your Head and the isles’ MRI scanner appeal.

She has been wearing the outfits through the day – including at her work at the Brae Health Centre, where she deals with admin and reception duties.

A festive-themed outfit from December.

Outfits she has worn since starting the project in December have included a unicorn, a prisoner, Santa, a nun and a pizza delivery person.

The campaign will end in June on her 50th birthday, with the transition back into normal clothing likely to take some time to get used to.

Sandra has been given costumes by friends and family to wear, keeping a diary of what she’s worn, and she posts photos of her wearing the eye-catching outfits on her fundraising Facebook page.

She even kept the campaign going through Christmas and New Year, donning a series of festive outfits on 25 December and dressing up as a nun on Hogmanay.

Speaking as she wore costume number 49 – a banana – Sandra explained that she wears the outfits all day, meaning she often goes shopping in the gear too.

There is one slight caveat – she dresses down on Sundays by wearing pyjamas.

“Some mornings I wake up and think ‘what am I doing?’ But strangely enough on Sundays when it is pyjamas, I kind of miss putting something on,” Sandra says.

“They’ve all been alright so far, but there’s been a lot of things I’ve been donated that I won’t wear, because they’re maybe bit too revealing.”

Sandra, who also works Saturdays at the Brae Garage, said that some unknowing people “don’t know where to look” when they see her in costume for the first time.

Her personal favourites so far have been medieval dresses, although for the public the nun outfit particularly caught the attention.

“I got a lot of funny looks that day, and a lot of comments, because they were surprised at seeing a nun walking around the health centre,” Sandra laughs.

She says she was always keen on dressing up for events like party buses or charity days, but the fundraising campaign has taken things to a whole new level.

“The spare bedroom upstairs is just absolutely full of costumes,” Sandra says “I’ve got a pulley in the kitchen full of costumes hanging on that too.”

Behind the 158 fancy dress costumes she is set to wear over the six months, however, is a fundraising appeal for two important local causes.

“I wanted to do something that was going to be local, that would stay in Shetland,” Sandra says.

“Mind Your Head, I’ve never had to use them thankfully, but I could have done in the past. The MRI is a good cause as well, because it’s going to save a lot of folk having to go to Aberdeen.”

Donations to the fundraising appeal can be made online through this link.