I’m about to turn 33 and I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a different way.  Unlike when I was younger, I’m not that fussed about going clubbing anymore – I prefer doing something where I get to spend quality time with my friends.

So I decided to combine my birthday with fundraising for The National Brain Appeal. I have had friends and family who have suffered from some of the neurological conditions that the charity supports.  I’ve also never been the luckiest person with my own health, so when I get the chance, I like to help charities that I feel can make a real difference to other people’s wellbeing.  I think the National Brain Appeal is doing a great job at raising money for those with neuro issues, and the money we donate will help to continue this important work in the future.

Last year I didn’t get around to organising anything for the Pyjama Party event, so this year I thought I would be fun to host an event. It was all arranged quite last-minute – I sent a text to some friends only a few weeks ago. I decided to raise money by charging an entrance/event fee of £15 for all those attending who were attending, which I “sold” to my friends by saying it worked out as cheaper than going out for the night and we would be doing something for charity!  In exchange, I supplied the house, the food and the drink so we could have a casual night in.

I went all out to make the night feel special, as I thought it would make the party all the nicer – I bought decorations, filled The National Brain Appeal balloons with helium, made most the food from scratch (including halloumi cheese, pizza, cake and chocolate) and generally made the house look welcoming.

On Saturday 10 October, clad in my Care Bear onesie I started answering the door to guests from early evening. Once everyone had arrived and changed into their PJs, the eating began! We spent a good couple of hours eating, drinking, chatting and laughing in the dining area, whilst managing to fit in the odd bit of picture taking.  After this, we took the chocolates into the living room and played cards. The night went so well, I didn’t get to bed until 1.30am, which is amazingly late for someone that normally is in bed by 10pm!

It was so nice spending time with six close mates, while wearing comfy warm clothes and just having fun. If you have a bit of a hectic life, it was great to take time out to do something for someone else, while having a really enjoyable evening. I’d highly recommend having a Pyjama Party, so go on, order your party pack today and join in the fun.

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Nicola Jones - PJ party