Four fundraisers brave the shave raising over £7k for hospice
- Credit: Sue Ryder
Four fundraisers who have had loved ones cared for by Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice have shaved their heads and raised over £7,000 between them for the charity.
Sue Ryder provides expert and compassionate palliative care to people living with life-limiting conditions, as well as supporting their families.
54-year-old Andrew Louth from Whittlesey had his head shaved on April 21, one day before the funeral of his long-term partner, Sandra.
The last time he has his hair cut before his head shave was before the first UK lockdown, in a bid to keep Sandra safe.
Sandra was a volunteer in the Thorpe Hall hospice shop but had to stop due to her progressing illness and she received care from the hospice at home team which allowed her to live out her final days in the comfort of her own home.
Andrew’s head shave took place at the local barbers where he raised £1,555 for the hospice, which included £500 charity match funding from his employer Forterra Building Products Ltd.
Andrew donated his hair to the Little Princess Trust and, when asked about what he thought of his new hairstyle, he said: “I’m not sure I will go for it again, but I’m glad I was able to do something positive with my hair whilst raising money for charity.
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“I think Sandra would be glad I tidied myself up though! She did mention it quite a few times to me!”
John McKie, 68, from Market Deeping, shaved his head after mentioning the idea to the landlord of his favourite pub, The Bull, that he was keen to do something for Sue Ryder.
The landlord responded “why don’t you shave your hair off; I’ll give you £200!”
On June 19, after having long hair for 54 years, John went to The Bull with friends and locals and had his head shaved by local barber, Lee Markey.
He said: “I was nervous, but once the shave started, I settled down and away it went!
“I had some great support from my friends both at the pub and outside but it’s a bit draughty on top now though – I have a complete skinhead!”
John raised an incredible £2,035.01.
Adrian Wright, 61, from Barnack, took to the clippers on April 26, shaving off his long hair in memory of his father-in-law Ralph.
He hadn’t had his hair cut since before the pandemic hit, but decided it was time to shave his “lucky hair” and raise funds for Sue Ryder.
“It still is strange, but people say it’s taken years off me,” he said.
Adrian raised £1,093, which included £500 match funding from his employer, Vodafone.
Speaking of the money that he raised, he said: “I was quite shocked. I raised some of the money through people I know locally and family and friends, but also quite a lot came from people at my work and through the NHS as I work closely with them too.”
Phoebe Miller, a student from Henley, chose to mark her 21st birthday slightly differently this year by shaving her head in memory of her aunt Lisa who was cared for by Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
“I wanted to do this on my birthday to give back and say thank you to the charity that was there for her,” she said.
Phoebe’s friends and family bid to cut off sections of her hair and she had their support at home on June 25 as her head was shaved.
“I’m loving my new look – it's very easy and I keep making jokes to my friends that I’m not going to be late because I’ve not got to ‘do my hair’,” she said.
“I’m not going to wear a wig as I want people who are losing their hair to feel ok and know it’s not something to feel ashamed about.
“I’m going to keep it short for a while and fully embrace it.”
Between the four of them, Andrew, John, Adrian and Phoebe raised £7,478.01 which will help the staff at Sue Ryder continue to carry out their invaluable hospice care.
Community fundraiser at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, Helen Kingston, said: “We are truly in awe of John, Andrew, Adrian and Phoebe’s bravery and generosity and are so proud to have them as supporters.
"Without donations like these, we wouldn’t be able to continue helping our local community like we do.”
For more information on Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall’s Hospice, visit www.sueryder.org/thorpehall.