A POSTMAN who has been entertaining Westhoughton residents throughout lockdown with various fancy dress outfits will donate his tips to charity.

Mukesh Parmar, 51, has brightened up the town's streets over the last year by dressing up on his post round - including as a clown and as Santa Claus.

Raking in £700 in tips over the festive period while delivering to around 1,000 homes, he has now decided to donate it all to an online fundraiser - and is encouraging others to help out.

The fundraiser will benefit five different charities - Bolton Hospice, Cancer Research, NHS charities together, Alzheimer's UK and Young Minds.

Mukesh, who has lived in Westhoughton for 18 years, is now taking a well-earned month off after working non-stop since lockdown began in March 2020.

He said: "Being silly is part of my DNA.

"When lockdown started last year, it was so strange delivering on the silent streets of Westhoughton.

"I decided to brighten up people's days by dressing up as a clown, then as Santa during December.

"I'm just a postman trying to do my bit in the local community, to try and relieve some of the stress and pressure that we're all feeling due to the pandemic."

The campaign has so far raised £1,200 from 100 different donors, with the fundraiser being shared 815 times on social media.

Adding to the tips that Mukesh is set to donate, this makes a total so far of £1,900.

He was inspired by the rainbow artwork that started appearing in windows everywhere as a show of support and appreciation for the NHS and all other key workers when the pandemic first became a reality last year.

The clown costume especially got lots of positive comments, according to Mukesh, mostly along the lines of 'thank you for brightening up my day."

He added: "Apologies for frightening you if you bumped into me and you're one of the few people who suffer from Coulrophobia - a fear of clowns.

"We did have lots of fun, what with the squeaking shoes winding up all the dogs and impromptu doorstep performances on my kazoo for birthday boys and girls along with lots of general silliness."