Pals create elf for mental health fundraiser fun outside Margate house

Elf for mental health fundraising fun

Margate pals Craig Harker and Martin Douglas have been spreading some Christmas cheer amongst the residents of Millmead and Dane Valley with treats, music and the chance to take a festive s-Elfie.

The pair have created a winter wonderland outside Craig’s house in Invicta Road, donned their Elf outfits and are raising money for mental health charity Changing Minds Kent.

Dad-of-three Craig, 35, has been advocating for mental health awareness since early last year after overcoming drug addiction and crushing anxiety.

His journey began after  being taken to hospital with a suspected heart attack in February 2021 just days before his 34th birthday.

The scare forced the bar manager to re-evaluate his life and led to a passion for running and a completion of a 5k a day challenge to raise money for We Are With You counselling service, which helped him at his time of need.

Martin and Craig

Best friend Martin, also 35, has overcome his own challenges after suffering massive injuries in a road accident some 20 years ago. The performer, at that time just 15, was determined to recover and just seven months later he was on stage at Disneyland with specially choreographed sets due to paralysis on his left side. Martin is best known as a regular on stage and behind the scenes for the Kent Police annual panto.

The Elf wonderland idea started with Craig decorating the front of his house with Christmas lights.

He also has a caravan outside the front of the house so decided to create an elf village in its window.

Craig has been working over several weeks to make the winter wonderland backdrop, props and scenery for the elves, creating everything from cinema nights to a day at the fair. Each day leading up to Christmas Eve has a new scene.

Craig and Martin then teamed up to become Elfred and Relf the elves, added music and snow and have created a full-scale Christmas production for all to enjoy.

Elfred and Relf  can be visited outside 3 Invicta Road on December 16th, 23rd and 24th from 4pm-6pm. On December 23 they will also be there at 1pm-2pm.

The duo are encouraging donations for Changing Minds Kent which works to inspire, educate and reduce stigma around mental health problems and to empower people to support each other.

The charity has a range of coping tools, projects and training that can transform organisations and individuals alike to make sustainable changes.

It runs The Lodge in Westgate which is a fully equipped social inclusion centre that offers free venue hire to community groups and charitable causes in the area.

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