DJ raises more than £50,000 during kitchen sets in lockdown

  • Watch the video report by ITV Meridian's James Dunham

Three months ago, we began our search for the ITV Meridian Fundraiser of the Year, as part of the Daily Mirror Pride of Britain Awards.

Hundreds of you nominated wonderful fundraisers from your communities. All this week, we will tell you about our region's finalists and on Friday (October 1), we'll be crowning one of them as the Meridian winner.

DJ Graham Meeres, from Burgess Hill in West Sussex, raised thousands of pounds for charity during lockdown by completing a mammoth 40-hour broadcast of his non-stop set.

Graham did DJ sets every Saturday and as they grew in popularity, he went on to do a 24-hour challenge and raised almost £20,000 for the NHS.

He then completed a 40-hour rave, with viewers donating more than £30,000 for mental health charity Mind.

Despite Graham originally setting out to raise £5,000, he actually raised a total of almost £60,000.

He said the gigs, all done from his kitchen, left him "mentally and physically" drained but added it was all worth it due to the "fantastic work" of the charities.

Graham said kind messages of support from viewers got him through the grueling sets Credit: ITV Meridian

The DJ said messages he received from people during lockdown "drove him to keep going".

He said: "People messaged me during lockdown to thank us, which wasn't the reason we were doing it, but to say they had something to look forward to.

"They were really struggling with their mental health and didn't have a support bubble with their friends or family.

Graham said his support throughout the pandemic has been his family.

His wife, Victoria Meeres said she helped him with the sets by "keeping him hydrated, fed and motivated".

She said: "I'm really proud, not just with the fundraising but also with the sense of community that he's created with his regular listeners."

Graham said he will continue to raise money for charity but doubts he will try a 48-hour set anytime soon.