A T rex seen dancing around the streets of Bradford since the coronavirus lockdown began has been revealed to be Forward Leeds’s Dr Paul Bamber.
Paul has been going out every day since Easter Saturday dressed as Dorothy the Dinosaur. He’s been skipping, skating and cycling around Idle and Thackley in north Bradford lifting the spirits of local residents, especially the children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Paul said: “It started out as a bit of fun on Easter Saturday after a friend suggested I wore my dinosaur outfit for my daily exercise. I started to notice children giggling in gardens and tapping on windows as I went past, so I would stop, wave and do silly things like a few dance moves.
“The most joyous part of being Dorothy has been interacting with the local children, playing peek-a-boo, doing silly dance and fitness moves and listening to their giggles. It has been an absolute delight to entertain them and the strength and love this has given me has really helped me cope with the challenges at work during this difficult time.
Dr Bamber added: “We are all experiencing disconnection from our friends and family so a welcome and surprising benefit of my daily dino dash is the increased connection I feel with my local community.”
Dr Bamber works as a Senior Clinician at the Armley Park Court hub in west Leeds. He supports people who have come for treatment and support for substance misuse issues.
Medical Director Roya Vaziri said: “I wasn’t completely surprised to discover the person inside the dinosaur costume bringing delight to children at this difficult time was Paul.
“Paul is known for his community spirit. He has a real warmth and is committed to helping the people he works with and supporting his colleagues in Forward Leeds. Seeing him use his performance skills to bring a little cheer in these times, is just the medicine we need.”
Dorothy has developed a large online following with a Facebook Group of over 1300 members who upload photos and videos of sightings of the “Thackley T rex” to the social media site.
Dorothy’s identity was finally disclosed as Dr Paul Bamber on BBC Look North the local 6.30 news programme for Yorkshire on Friday 15 May.
Paul has been seen out as Dorothy in a range of outfits including a roller-skating bride, a hula girl and on VE Day decorated with Union Jack bunting as she visited social distancing street parties.
As well as leading a double life as Dorothy, Paul has also been putting his medical background to use during the pandemic by helping out on the NHS 111 coronavirus helpline in the evenings as well.
In response to requests from the public Paul has set up a JustGiving page for the homeless charity Crisis and would be thrilled for any contribution no matter how small https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thackleyt-rex