From Ryde mayor to 'Danny La Rue' for men's mental health charity
AN ISLE of Wight mayor transformed into Danny La Rue as part of a charity fundraiser for a men's mental health charity at Monkton Arts in Ryde.
Earlier this month, the Monkton Arts Lounge was turned into a packed music hall for a one-night-only ‘Good Old Days’ evening to raise funds for Ryde’s third sector group, Men Only IOW.
The packed house was entertained with renditions of 'Down at the Old Bull and Bush' and a whole line-up of incredible acts, including a special guest appearance by Soprano Jackie Maw.
The last act was Ryde's mayor, Cllr Michael Lilley's transformation into the female impersonator, Danny La Rue, wowing audiences.
The Ryde mayor pledged to perform the late Mr La Rue's hits, 'On Mother Kelly's Doorstep’ and 'I Am What I Am’ if £500 was raised before he went on stage – with that target exceeded at £703.
Cllr Lilley said: "I have supported Men Only from the beginning as men are four times more likely to commit suicide than women and four times less likely to talk about it.
“Male suicides are the highest number of suicides in the UK and on the Isle of Wight, with Ryde being the highest (as the most populated Town on the Island) area of suicides and suicide attempts.
“I have not put on a dress before - at least not in public! I'm doing this to raise awareness as the Isle of Wight Council's champion for mental health and as Mayor of Ryde.”
The money raised is being used to fund and support Men Only’s drop-in facility and to keep the building warm, especially for its Christmas Day drop-in.