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Social butterflies dance for good cause at the Astor Theatre in Deal

By Eleanor Perkins

A ball is being held in Deal tonight (Saturday) to help a charity for people with mental illnesses.

Jo Jessop, 34, who is originally from Deal but now lives in Ramsgate, has personal experience of bipolar disorder.

She will host the Butterfly Ball tonight at the Astor Theatre to raise money for Rethink Mental Illness, a charity which helps people with mental health problems to gain a better quality of life.

She said: “I wanted to fundraise for them because the staff at the charity were there for me when I became ill and didn’t want to live.

“They helped me get my life back on track and taught me strategies to help me cope when things go wrong.

“As well as fundraising, I wanted to raise awareness of mental illness.

“One in four people will have a mental health problem at some point in their lives, but their pain often goes unrecognised and unsupported.

“If someone has a broken leg, it’s obvious what their pain might be. But all too often people go through mental illness alone.

“The reason I named it the Butterfly Ball is that we are all unique and different.

“Not one butterfly is the same as another, even if it comes from the same family. That’s the same with mental illness, because everyone experiences it in different ways. We could all be from the same family and only one of us gets a mental illness.”

The ball will be from 7pm until midnight. There will be live music, comedy, burlesque acts, a raffle and a buffet. Tickets cost £25 each and places are limited.

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