Festive fundraiser embarks on Christmas jumper challenge

28 December 2020

A festive fundraiser is wearing a Christmas jumper every day in December to raise much-needed funds for Muscular Dystrophy UK.

Kelly Simpson, 39 and from Northallerton, began fundraising for the charity to support family friend Susanne Driffield, whose 10-year-old son Joe lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

  • This is the seventh year Kelly Simpson has embarked on her festive challenge
  • She first began to support Joe Driffield, who lives with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
  • Kelly kicked off her challenge wearing an apt facemask-wearing gingerbread jumper

The progressive condition causes muscles to weaken and waste over time, leading to increasing and severe disability. It affects not only muscles used for movement, but also the heart and vital breathing muscles, cutting lives short.

This is the seventh year Kelly has embarked on her festive fundraiser and has raised more than £2,500 to date.

Kelly kicked off her challenge this year with a Covid-19 themed jumper showing a gingerbread man wearing a face mask. She has amassed an impressive collection over the years that feature reindeers, Father Christmas, elves and bells.

Her annual Christmas wardrobe is warmly supported by her friends and colleagues at North Yorkshire Police, where she works as a systems administrator.

Along the way Kelly has been supported by her three festive-mad nieces, as well as inspiring much younger Christmas fans to take parts. Baby Emily Down, aged 10 months and the daughter of Kelly’s friend, is also wearing a festive outfit every day throughout advent.

Kelly said:

The Christmas jumper challenge is my own unique way of supporting a very special little boy, Joe, and his family who I love with all my heart.

Kelly’s fundraising efforts even inspired Joe’s mum, Susanne, to seek employment with MDUK.

Susanne, who is MDUK’s North East and Yorkshire Regional Development Manager, said:

Kelly has been an amazing support to our family and the charity since Joe’s diagnosis in 2014. Her Christmas jumper challenge has become an annual tradition and we’re really grateful for her support.

Fundraisers like Kelly’s Christmas jumper challenge are incredibly important in helping MDUK recoup vital funds need to help others like Joe.

This year, MDUK has lost £2.8million worth of income amid the Covid-19 pandemic, and the charity is incredibly grateful to those like Kelly who have stepped up to help.

Kelly’s fundraising page can be reached here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kelly-simpson16

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