One week to go!

It is only a week until Hair for Hospices day on 7 August!  It seems like only yesterday the event was months away but it is now almost upon us.  Despite this, the event continues to grow daily!

My work colleagues have tested a new webcam so that there will be a weblink on Tuesday to broadcast the event from work.  I’ll post the webcam link as soon as I have it.  Hopefully someone will want to watch the show!  We plan to “go live” from 12:00 – 13:00 UK time, with me being part shaved at work at around 12:30.

A promotional video has been suggested of the event around the world so please send me footage of anything you do.  I can have this added to the recording from work to make a comprehensive record of the day.

Shortly after the “great shave” I’ll be meeting with the National Association of Hospice Fundraisers to discuss the event and begin planning to make this a major national event for hospices next year.  I honestly find it difficult to believe just how much support this cause has gained in such a short time.  This can only be due to the love Carol and I had for each other – but I just wish I wasn’t in the position of doing this.

There is news of more hair related activities by others for their local hospices and I’d like to mention them here.  However, I have no donor sites for them and will post them if they’re passed on to me.

Nerissa Williams is colouring her hair blue to raise funds for Ty Hafan hospice.

Kate Barrett is colouring her hair to raise funds for two hospices, ForgetMeNotChild and Kirkwood.

Carol’s sister Jackie is very active in Israel for hospice care there.  She and her husband David are planning a tour of the Zichron Menachen Children’s Centre, Jerusalem followed by lunch.  They are inviting monetary or hair donations to Zichron Menachem.  If you would like to make a monetary or hair donation to Zichron Menachem, please see, or

I’ll end tonight with a message from Jackie, “Please help us raise awareness of this wonderful charity for families with children suffering from cancer, and thus support Hair for Hospices in memory of my sister Carol Kay.



What a day!

Yesterday I posted a text only blog, today it is illustrated.  As many readers will know, today was THE day for the raffle draw for the Olympics tickets to the ladies finals badminton matches.

The winning ticket was drawn this morning by George Solly, head of fundraising for the hospice.  As you can see, we had a lovely morning for the draw outside!  It was then time for me to travel to work to present one of my AHVLA colleagues with his prize, much to his surprise.  I’ve also included a photo of presenting the Olympics tickets to the winner which he took back to his office in some disbelief.  This raffle raised £249 plus Gift Aid and thanks again to all participants.

The photo below shows my beard certainly needs a good trim but I haven’t the heart to tell it what will be done to it just over a week from now.

Whilst it recovered from the paint attack a week ago it will take rather longer to recover from being mown down in its prime.  However, as I’ve said before, I’ll remove my beard despite any protest it makes but I will start growing it again immediately afterwards.  We are consecrating a memorial stone to Carol on 10 September and I will not stand before her with a naked face.

I heard from Michael today that he has prepared a poster to put up around his department at the University of Leeds and a copy of this is below so you can see the family resemblance between us!

Michael also told me about what two of his friends are planning to do for Hair for Hospices.  Eleanor Segall will be wearing a pink wig, and Katie Newman will be colouring her hair red to raise funds for Peace Hospice in Watford, their local hospice.  Their fundraising page is at:  Please visit their page to see what they’re doing and help them.

As a quick scan down these recent blogs will show, this event really has taken root and it is wonderful to see how so many hospices stand to benefit from local support stimulated by Hair for Hospices.  There can be no better way to perpetuate Carol’s memory than to offer help and friendship to others in need as she did so readily throughout her life.  Bless you all for helping us and others in this way.

About to draw the raffle for the Olympics women’s badminton finals tickets

As I write, it is only hours until midnight and the end of the raffle for Olympics badminton tickets.  Amost 250 tickets have now been sold, many of them in the last few days.  Perhaps more will sell over the coming hours?  If you’d still like to buy some tickets please see for details.

I was pleased to receive a note from EP Collier school in Reading last week telling me that staff and pupils had held a wacky hair day at the end of term and raised in excess of £100 in support of the Duchess of Kent House Hospice in Reading.  Thank you all so much for your support.  I think this was the first local school to participate in the event.

I was touched to hear of Michaela Page’s generous offer to donate a length of her hair to support Dr Kershaw’s Hospice.  Please visit her site at
to see why she is prepared to do this for the hospice and offer your support to her.

On Tuesday 7th August, Hair Nineteen (King Cross Street, Halifax, HX1 2SH, tel: 01422 358 115) are raising money for Overgate Hospice by giving their days takings by doing cut and blow dry for a minimum donation of £20, to support Hair for Hospices.

Guest stylist for the day will be Sharon Holland Taylor who co-wrote and appeared in the play ‘Dirty Laundry’ which was performed earlier this year with all proceeds going to Overgate Hospice.  Please support the team in their efforts to help the hospice by ringing 01422 358 115 to book a slot.  More details on this event are at:

There are lots of hair salons around the country.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if some others followed the example set by Hair Nineteen to help their local hospice?  If you manage a salon and would like to help please let me know and I will put you in touch with your local hospice.  Other readers may wish to approach their local salon to suggest a way in which they could help.

For those living in Reading, please visit the Reading Buses competition for Hair for Hospices at:  The breaking news on this is that Sian Lloyd ( has just agreed to help judge the photos sent in for this competition.  We’re really looking forward to seeing what you can do to help the Duchess of Kent House hospice!

Hair for Hospices is still growing!

I’ve said before that I go to bed thinking Hair for Hospices just can’t grow more tomorrow – and each day I’m wrong.  Today was another such day and for your pleasure I am including another photo for you to enjoy.

Some readers will know Anne from Defra Legal Advisers, but I suspect few will have seen her like this!  I am really grateful to her for insisting on doing something wacky hair related early so that she could encourage colleagues to join in the event on 7 August.

I’d like to continue the theme from the last post to tell you more about those who are doing wonderful things for their local hospices.  Again, I know this still doesn’t cover all that is being done so please keep the emails and calls coming in with more to include in a future post.

In Kirkwood Hospice the patients are making braids for nurses to wear in their hair on Hair for Hospices day on 7 August.  Thank you all so much for this.

Sharon Taylor tells me she is working in Hair Nineteen Salon, King Cross Street, Halifax (01422 358115) and wants to offer cut/blow dry proceeds to Overgate Hospice.  If you are in the area, please call and arrange to have something wacky done to your hair there and also benefit the hospice directly.

My colleagues and friends at the Fera laboratory have really taken this cause to heart and have set up a donation site to collect for St Leonards Hospice in York.  Their site is:

Steve Taylor, a friend from the VMD is shaving off his venerable beard to raise funds for Farleigh Hospice and his donor site is:

Finally, Karyn Aviani is a good family friend and is spearheading a campaign to bring Hair for Hospices to Leicester for the Rainbows Hospice with real dedication.  She is having some success for which many thanks, Karyn.  Her donor site is:

As before, please visit these sites to see more about what is being done for these hospices and give them your support.

I’d love to hear more about what YOU are doing and which hospices will benefit from this.

Finally, the raffle prizes for the Olympics women’s badminton finals will be drawn on Monday morning but it has been suggested that I might soon be given more tickets for another event!  More details soon.

Very touched

I’ve just returned from two days on business in Leeds and York.  It was very touching to see how Hair for Hospices has been taken up at Fera laboratory in York.  This laboratory is a very large complex and it seemed to me that I couldn’t move around inside the various buildings I saw without finding posters for the event on almost every door and in many offices.

However, at another meeting today I was told of a colleague who has not cut her hair other than to trim the ends for about 40 years.  She has offered to donate a length of her hair to make a wig for children who’ve lost their hair to cancer treatment.  This is such a generous offer it leaves me speechless and humbled.  So many people are doing so much to help others they don’t know and will never meet.  Thank you each and every one.  I just wish I could thank each of you personally.

In my most recent blogs I’ve highlighted the Hair for Hospices events I’ve been told about.  Given what I’ve just said above, I think it only correct to now give some recognition to collections being made for hospices around the UK other than the one set up by my family.  This will not be complete and I apologise if I miss many out but please pass on your details and I will add your site as soon I can.

Hayley and Jayne raising funds for St Mary’s Hospice:

Nigel Dowson raising funds for St Teresa’s Hospice:

Sam Mitchell raising funds for Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice:

Judi Lyons raising funds for Duchess of Kent House Hospice:

Geoff Fairfield raising funds for Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice:

Please support these hospices and donate if you can to a hospice NOT local to you.  You may never meet or know those you help but please be reassured that any help you can provide to help those in distress will be of real help in adding humanity and comfort to those in the care of hospices and their families.

Thanks to everyone who has bought raffle tickets for the Olympics finals tickets being sold for the Duchess of Kent House Hospice.  I must draw the winner on Monday morning so please see for details and contact me if you would like a ticket by midnight on Sunday.

Two weeks to go!

It’s only two weeks until my beard is removed!  I am travelling on business today and tomorrow and wanted to give you an update on the event as it constantly seems to change around me.

I spent this morning in Leeds and this afternoon visiting colleagues at the Fera laboratory in York.  All around the laboratory, on almost every door I saw posters advertising Hair for Hospices.  This has been warmly embraced by all my colleagues at Fera and it is truly touching to see.

This morning I met Michael and gave him shaving materials to pass on to St Gemma’s hospice in Leeds, courtesy of P&G.  This afternoon I left more shaving materials with my Fera colleagues and tomorrow will leave yet more with other colleagues to pass on to St Leonards hospice for their use on the day.

Hair for Hospices seems to have taken legs and flown the nest.  Just days ago I was speaking to a friend in Reading who will be joining in the great shave on 7 August.  He told me of the sponsorship he had raised for the event.  One colleague in Scotland had apologised for only giving him limited support because he was supporting another person in Scotland for the same event!  I’m convinced that I don’t know the full extent of the support for this event and really would love to hear from anyone and everyone involved.  Please email me at to let me know what you’re doing for Hair for Hospices.

I also spoke over the weekend with someone interested in making a documentary of events in support of the day.  I’d appreciate copies of any photographs and videos you have of any Hair for Hospices event anywhere in the world to make a comprehensive record of the day.

Thanks for the comments on my attempt at wacky hair over the weekend.  As those who saw me today can testify, the colours washed out – so now I can say to all that poster paints DO work on hair with no lasting effect!  Why not try them yourself on 7 August?

My timetable for 7 August is now almost fully agreed.  There will be a lot of travel on the day but I hope it will succeed in raising considerable public awareness of the need for and the wonderful work of hospices.  Please support a local event in your area.

Dare I show my face in public?

Hair for Hospices day is approaching and I thought it would be a good idea to practice colouring my beard for the first time!  I intend to colour my beard in sections so everyone has their “bit” to shave off.

Poster paints gave the effect shown opposite in the hope that the colours will wash off tonight.  If they don’t it will make for an interesting day tomorrow, especially as I am seeing my solicitor in the morning to sign probate papers.  Perhaps they might try to have me locked up instead if I look like this!

The plan on 7 August is that I will shave in the Duchess of Kent House hospice, the Royal Berkshire Hospital and also in a Reading bus in the morning.  I will then travel to my office for another part shave which you can watch on a webcam.  This will then be followed by another shave in Barnet with Noah’s Ark hospice before the final shave at the Reading synagogue that evening in front of the Mayor of Reading, the (purple bearded) Bishop of Reading and others.  It will be quite a hectic day but it will raise the awareness of hospices, as originally intended.

Continuing the theme from my last post, I’m attaching a copy of the promotional poster from Kirkwood hospice.  If you have a promotional poster and would like to share it with others please send it to me and I’ll include it in a future post.

In the meantime, I also know that many hospices are promoting the event and I am including links to them below.  I cannot promise that this list is comprehensive so the same plea applies to send me details to publish in a blog.  I’m aware of the following hospice campaigns:-

Duchess of Kent House hospice:

St. Richards hospice:

East Cheshire hospice:

Woking and Sam Beare hospices:

St Marys hospice:

Rotherham hospice:

St Teresa’s hospice:

Isabel hospice:

Severn hospice:

As ever, I really would welcome your comments and news of events YOU are planning.

I’ve just heard that my Belgian opposite number is shaving off his 30 year old beard on 7 August.  Finally, I also heard that a Brazilian colleague’s wife and daughter have donated lengths of hair to make wigs for children affected by cancer. Thank you ALL for everything you are doing and bless you.