Two Manx women are raising money for charity at university in Exeter by holding an X-Factor-style contest.

Angela Aumonier, from Castletown, and Natasha Ellis from Port Erin, came up with the idea of holding the online ’Exefactor’ talent competition.

The motivation behind it is to raise money for the Meningitis Research Foundation, help students feel less isolated during the pandemic, and give them a sense of community again.

In particular, the idea came about after the suicide of a student who had been struggling with the isolation caused by last year’s lockdown.

Angela said: ’The pandemic was making people feel a massive lack of connection, so we felt we needed to do something to make people feel that they weren’t isolated.’

So far, including a £1,000 contribution from the university alumni community and donations from local businesses, Exefactor has raised more than £2,000 for the meningitis charity.

Angela, who studies sports and exercise science and plays for the island netball team, said it would be great if Manx businesses could support the cause too. The former King William’s College student had planned to raise money for the foundation by climbing Kilimanjaro last year, but because of the pandemic this was postponed until September.

Angela explained that she had chosen meningitis because she felt it was an overlooked cause, whilst being an illness which disproportionately affects university students. She said there had been a wide range of talent video submissions from students for the competition, including from drama and sports societies.

This month Natasha and Angela, both finishing their second years, will select a top 10 out of the contestants.

These video entries will be professionally edited into a movie, with the winner, who will receive the prize of an online meeting with a talent agent, chosen by public vote.

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