A junior doctor has a side hustle to inspire kids to go green: being a professional mermaid.
Yasmin Awan, 28, is a qualified mermaid after first taking an interest six years ago.
She works at Aintree Hospital in Liverpool, England, in the major trauma unit, and also performs at kids’ parties and weddings.
Yasmin, who uses mermaid name Athena Storm, runs a business, Aquatic Mermaids, with her best friend.
She has swum with sharks in aquariums using a monofin, and hopes to visit the Maldives to swim with whale sharks.
In order to qualify she had to learn to hold her breath underwater and swim with a monofin.
Yasmin, from Neston, Wirral, said: “Six years ago when I was doing my MA, I was working late in the library and procrastinating online.
“I found an advert which said ‘learn to be a mermaid’ and went and did a weekend.
“It’s a huge part of my life now.
“I used to separate my life into being a doctor and being a mermaid, but it’s all one.
“Junior doctors have tricky rotas, if I’m on call or on lates I can’t do as much as I would like.
“I have a rubber tail and a fabric tail, but I make all my tops myself.
“They have to be safe for marine animals, so I sew every sequin on.
“People don’t think being a mermaid is very complicated but it’s not just dressing up.
“I had to learn to hold my breath for an extended amount of time.
“It’s all very technical but people don’t realize it.
“It’s really special, what I do makes a really positive difference.
“Children think I am real so to give them that magic in their life.
“I know I’m one person so I can’t change the world, but if I can change one person’s world, and give a child a bit of magic, I am making the world a bit of a happier place.
“It fills me with life and with joy.”
She has approached competed in Miss Mermaid competition, and approached Alder Hey and Sheffield Children’s Hospitals about doing charity events for them.
Yasmin said: “We do beach cleans where I bring a blow up clam, and kids get a ‘wish crystal’ if they bring me some rubbish.
“If you start instilling positive messages young, children really respond to it.”
Produced in association with SWNS Talker
Edited by Saba Fatima and Newsdesk Manager