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Physics student in a year of fancy dress

A Sussex student has come up with an innovative way of raising money for charity by promising to wear nothing but fancy dress for an entire year.

Aaron Lawrence, a second year Physics with Astrophysics student, hopes to take on the unorthodox challenge to raise money and awareness for MindOut, a local LGBTQ Mental Health Service.

Aaron has already been seen dressed as a whole host of characters, including: Robin Hood, Harry Potter, Sir Walter Raleigh, a Baywatch Lifeguard, a Bavarian in Lederhosen, a Cowboy and a Swamp Monster (see: Scooby Doo), since the start of October.

However, he will have over 300 costumes to go before his challenge is complete at the end of September next year. He even has to add in February 29in 2016 due to it being a leap year!

It is a challenge that will require a huge amount of dedication with the prospect of being in full fancy dress in the science lab, whilst shopping, on holiday, attending a wedding or sat in a job interview – although Aaron seems to be taking it all in his stride. 

“I’m going to a wedding soon but the people who invite me to these kind of events will know that I’m in fancy dress anyway so the wedding will be fine.

“I doubt I will have an interview but if I do I’m just going to have to explain to them what I’m doing – I’m hoping that would reflect well on me and that this is something I am doing for a reason.”

Aaron is now over two weeks and fifteen outfits into his challenge which he updates via his website My Costume Drama. For him, it is a challenging task – but one that he is relishing.

“I've always loved it. One day I joked that I liked it so much I should do it full time.

“As I was also trying to think of a way to raise money for MindOut and support their tremendous services for LGBTQ people affected by mental health issues, My Costume Drama was born.”

However, whilst walking to and from class, Aaron has been surprised by the reaction around campus:

“Generally speaking people haven’t been that fussed. The vast majority of people don’t know what I’m doing yet because I didn’t really tell anyone until I started doing it. My first reaction was from my lecturer on my first morning who asked me whether I was on a stag do!

“Around Brighton everyone dresses up to a certain degree so it feels easier to fit in when dressed like this, whereas this is an academic establishment and so I was worried that people might think that I was trying to take the micky out of what they were doing here.”

In just two weeks Aaron has completely surpassed his sponsorship expectations with his current amount standing well over £1500 – double what he hoped to achieve by this point in the challenge. 

You can follow Aaron’s attempt through his blog, Facebook page and by following him on Twitter @mycostumedramaa

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By: Tom Walters
Last updated: Thursday, 15 October 2015

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