Active support in Germany

Despite being a holiday today, I heard of more money collected for Hair for Hospices in the UK.  This now brings the total to more than £17,500.  I’m still hopeful that we will reach £20,000 across the UK.

I also had a lovely email from Abigail’s friend Michael in Germany.  I’ll start by sharing a photo of him before he did anything hair related.

As you can see, Michael has an abundance of hair in this photograph.  I mentioned in my blog of 21 August that he was keen to support Hair for Hospices locally in Germany.  The following photographs show him progressing towards hairlessness to support his local hospice.

 

 

 

The process has started and the transformation is underway!

Perhaps it would be best to let Michael tell his story in his own words.

When Abigail invited me to the wonderful cause of "Hair for Hospices 2012" I was quick to decide to join in.  I followed your wonderful effort, sacrifices and commitment in this matter and want to let you know, that I am deeply moved by all your great work!

I hope that my small deed will contribute to the greater good.  Last week Abigail contacted my via facebook to let me know that you included me into your blog.  This is a great honour for me.  Thank you very much! Instantly I checked your entry about my contribution and felt very special being mentioned exclusively.

My fundraising event will end on August, 31st.  Until then, I am shaving my head regularly in order to keep the spirit up :-).  Last Friday was shaving day and it is soon to happen again.

Furthermore some more information from my side: Once the Hospizgemeinschaft Boppard found out about my involvement, they contacted me and we tried to go public.  Hence there are a few newspaper reports about the whole event and we are hoping to raise more awareness and funds.  If "H4H" will be continued in 2013, we are determined to join once again and make it into a more organised event over here in my area - starting small and then let's see where it goes from there :-). "

I’ve already mentioned that I hope to see Hair for Hospices as a major national event in the UK.  With help from Michael and others around the world perhaps this could become an international event for hospices everywhere? What a wonderful memorial to my beshert, Carol.

The past, the present and the future

In recent weeks I’ve written a lot about the Hair for Hospices events held around the UK and the world.  Stories are still coming in and I’ll pass them on as I receive them.

So, what has Hair for Hospices achieved?  More than I could possibly have imagined when I said I would shave off my beard to support the Duchess of Kent House hospice on 7 August 2012, the day on which Carol and I had hoped to celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary.

A friend is now helping me to collate what happened on 7 August but I already know that at least 25 hospices around the UK benefited from money raised on the day.  To date, I know of over £17,000 (including Gift Aid) raised and distributed to hospices with pledges in excess of £3,000 still to be collected.  I am hopeful that this will take us to over £20,000 collected for UK hospices.

To the above, we must also add participation in countries abroad and the earlier articles have shown you the range of countries involved including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany and the USA, with other countries such as Uruguay still hoping to join in later this year.  Unfortunately I am unable to collate the benefit to non-UK hospices but again hope it has also helped them by raising their profile and also funds to support them.

Returning to the question posed, the answer must be that with help from all involved we have clearly shown an international interest in helping hospices and now we must build on this to ensure the momentum is not lost.  I am now discussing how this can be taken forward with the National Association of Hospice Fundraisers in the UK.  The hope is that we will be able to launch a major event on this theme to support hospices around the UK from next year.  With support from friends and colleagues around the world perhaps this could become even bigger but to achieve this I will need support from YOU.  I know this blog has been read in 32 countries so if you are interested in making a difference in YOUR country please contact me and let us see what we can do together.

I’ll end with a photo of my shave at the Royal Berkshire Hospital on 7 August by Anna Gillham, Carol’s specialist cancer nurse with thanks to the hospital for supporting our cause.

Thank you for reading this around the world

I’ve just returned from a business trip in Glasgow and whilst waiting for my plane home saw that this blog has now been read in 32 countries around the world.  From Australia to Zimbabwe and China to Uruguay people are taking the time to read my news of Hair for Hospices.  This is very humbling and I hope that in at least some of these countries the Hair for Hospices seed is germinating in fertile soil.  I’m in discussion to make this a major event for UK hospices next year and it would be wonderful if more countries across the world joined us.  If you and/or friends would like to become involved in any way please contact me at jacknobeard@aol.co.uk

I have visions of a whole new career opening up in front of me after retirement as an unofficial ambassador to promote the awareness of the need and funding for hospices!

Friends and colleagues at the Fera laboratory in York had a wonderful time on 7 August if the photos and videos I’ve seen are anything to judge.  They raised a huge amount for St Leonards, their local hospice and you can get a flavour of this by visiting:-

http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.423310137704491.83566.1627443704277

Lindsey Lodge Hospice shops entered into the spirit of Hair for Hospices day by promoting “hair care hamper draws” as shown above, whilst hospice patients had a hair themed party on the day as shown below.  In doing this they did exactly what I wanted to see others doing on 7 August – having the party that Carol and I were not spared to celebrate together on our anniversary this year.  Thank you for holding this party and perhaps if you hold another party next year I might be able to join you?

On 10 September our family and friends will unveil and consecrate a tombstone in Carol’s memory.  Once this is done I will start to concentrate on the Hair for Hospices event to be held next year.  I will also spend time on arranging details for a classical music recital to be held in Reading on 16 December by the internationally acclaimed violinist, Alexandre Da Costa.  I’ll be able to provide more details of the performance soon but in the meantime please feel free to visit Alexandre’s website at:-

http://www.alexandredacosta.com/

You’d be most welcome to attend so please let me know if you’re interested in coming.

Shabbat shalom to all where ever you are.

Abigail has the snip

Abigail was unable to join us on Hair for Hospices day as she was involved in a youth camp in deepest Wales.  Having returned home she has made up for lost time and had a serious hair cut today to donate a long length of her hair to the Little Princesses charity.

The photograph above show the dramatic transformation a haircut can make.

The photo to the right shows the hair prepared and ready to be posted to the charity.  Thank you Abigail for this donation and I appreciate how long it will take for your hair to grow back.
Abigail also prepared another photo which I must share with you.

The top left and bottom right photographs show Abigail with red hair for Hair for Hospices.  The top right photo shows her with straightened hair this morning prior to the cut and the bottom left photo is self explanatory.

The central image in the above photo is of Abigail’s mother, Carol taken at almost the same age when she was a bridesmaid to a student friend who remained a life long friend.  The resemblance is striking and I only wish I had known Carol then and had longer with her.

As I’ve been telling you of Abigail’s sacrifice today, it seems appropriate to tell you about the support she has from a friend in Germany for Hair for Hospices and the images below will give you the complete picture on what he is doing for a hospice in Germany.

Please take a moment to visit the links given by Michael and perhaps consider also supporting the hospice he has chosen to help.

I am still collating everything we’ve collectively achieved with Hair for Hospices and am now discussing this with the National Association of Hospice Fundraisers.  It is our intention and hope that we will be able to make this into an annual event from next year to support all hospices in the UK.

With the help and support of colleagues and friends abroad, perhaps we can even make this international?  If you would like to be involved in this please contact me at jacknobeard@aol.co.uk – I’d really like this to help as many hospices as possible, regardless of their location but I can’t do this without your help.

Meanwhile in the USA….

Looking through the posts to date, I realized that my American friends and colleagues have not featured prominently so I will rectify this now.

Brandi is not normally red haired and Kevin certainly isn’t a natural blue head!  Their employers (whom I must not mention) did not allow them to promote Hair for Hospices amongst colleagues but could not prevent them from expressing personal support for the cause.

Kevin and Brandi were not permitted to talk about why they had chosen to colour (sorry, color) their hair but that obviously didn’t stop colleagues from asking Kevin “Why?”, to which his response was to show them a copy of the photograph below!

I know that this did prompt some curious individuals to visit the website and learn more of what we are doing to promote and help hospices and I am very grateful for the way in which both Brandi and Kevin supported Hair for Hospices.

Another colleague and friend from the USA wrote the message below to me which I reproduce here with personal details removed as requested.

Thank you for the HairforHospices updates and the very colorful pictures.  …., I was pretty much at a loss as to what to do to support your efforts.  It all came together after [seeing] Bruno Le Bizec’s [photo in your blog]…my [partner] has often said my “wake up” hair reminds … of a marmot.  Here’s how the pieces fall together:

Wake up with marmot hair; requires immediate corrective action.  Then it’s off to the local diner for breakfast.  In the USA, many restaurants offer a senior discount.  Given the marmot hair and an intense need for morning caffeine, I eat breakfast at the diner a lot.  I’ve decided to take my senior discounts for the last year and use that as my donation to our local hospice.  I plan to continue a more regular contribution through our workplace giving but this seemed like a good starting point.

A number of other friends and colleagues wrote to tell me of donations made to their local hospices across the USA.

Thank you all so very much for all the different ways in which you are supporting hopices.  I know from conversations with you individually how much hospices have meant to you, your family, friends and colleagues.  Let us hope we have kindled a movement to raise the awareness of their need across the world.

So – what happened on 7 August around the UK?

I’ve received many messages of support for Hair for Hospices over the last week or so and thank you all so much for helping me take it forward.  In this post I’d like to travel around the UK to show a selection of things you did – and all to support local hospices.

Not surprisingly, these photos show someone who had her hair coloured as a rainbow for Rainbows Hospice in Leicester.  Is this the wackiest hair of the day?  I must leave it to you to decide but there is another below which competes with it.

Hair for Hospices was spearheaded in Leicester by our friend Karyn Aviani who persuaded many to join in to support her local hospice.  She even persuaded someone to have his chest waxed – something I won’t offer to do!  If you’d like to read more of this please follow the link below.

http://www.thisisleicestershire.co.uk/Enzo-gets-chest/story-16717586-detail/story.html

Meanwhile, in Asda in Worcester we have the staff joining in the campaign for St Richards Hospice.

… and back at the hospice?

Margaret Tucker prepared in advance for Hair for Hospices to support St Mary’s Hospice and took the Olympics as her theme – and produced a look our friends in Leicester would appreciate as you’ll see from the link below.

http://www.nwemail.co.uk/news/margaret-is-ringing-the-changes-to-help-hospice-1.980276?referrerPath=news/#

Not to be outdone, Livingstons Solicitors in Ulverston greeted clients in a rather different manner from normal!  Their story is at http://www.stmaryshospice.org.uk/_blog/Latest_News/post/Livingston%27s_Surprise_Customers_with_Charity_Wigs/

Nerissa also wanted to help raise funds for Ty Hafan hospice and having failed to persuade her hair to accept blue colour went blonde.  However, her dog insisted in joining in as well but was definitely rather lost under the covering!

 

 

 

This has been a well illustrated post but I can’t end without a few pictures from the end of my evening.

Life shortening illness is completely non-denominational and will find people regardless of belief.  Hospices also are non-denominational and will treat all with dignity and respect, regardless of belief.  I was therefore very pleased to see representation and participation from so many faiths on the day and also at our synagogue.  I’m sure we all hope never to need the support of a hospice – but we must all pray that they are there for us in our hours of need.  To ensure they are there for us and our loved ones we must support them now.

Finally we have Mark’s head banana – a yellow mohican with green tip!

More news of Hair for Hospices events

I’ll begin by telling you that Hair for Hospices has now raised in excess of £15,000 for hospices across the UK, with several thousand pounds still to be collected.
The above photo shows the Executive Board of the Animal Health Veterinary Laboratories Agency when they met in Cardiff on 7 August.  They wanted to participate in Hair for Hospices, hence their appearance and together with colleagues in Cardiff they raised funds to be split between two local hospices in Cardiff.
I had a lovely note from Kirsty Wyatt of the Hospice of St Francis and she also sent me the link below which gives news of how Hair for Hospices has helped them.
I’d now like to tell you how Rodrigo, a Brazilian colleague and friend has become involved in our campaign and I will let him tell his story in his own words.
We had a family beard shaving adventure to contribute. My 10 years old son  Tommy  and myself had a beard shaving session.
He has been shaving with me (of course without razor) since he was two. So it was a great opportunity to remember when he was that little!
On the first step We had a little help from my wife to cut it a bit, and the last photo we have the presence of the artist. Ligia, my stepdaughter, the photographer.
Please also find attached my wife´s (Claudia) photos donating her hair for local hospices here in our town. Hair donation website:  https://sites.google.com/site/doesuasmolduras/Home
Also, as promised, I´m forwarding to you my 18 years old stepdaughter Luisa´s volunteer work websites. She has been volunteering for two years at local institutes which care for patients with cancer:
With best regards and congratulations for the cause!
As you can see, Hair for Hospices has become a family event for so many around the world.  The one person I’ve missed out so far given this statement is my daughter Abigail.
I’ve now rectified this omission with the above photo showing her with red coloured hair to mark the day.  She will be cutting her long hair next week to make a donation of it to Little Princesses in the UK.
I must end here and get some sleep.  Thanks once again to all for your continued support to help hospices around the world and bless you all.