A group of Flintshire friends are shaving off their flowing locks to raise money to support NHS workers who are being pushed to the limits fighting the Coronavirus pandemic.
Seven brave Buckley lads agreed to have their heads shaved after joining in last Thursday’s national Clap for Carers in support of NHS workers.
The event saw millions of the people across the UK stand outside their front doors or at their open windows to applaud the efforts of health workers caring for victims of the Covid-19 virus.
But according to Thomas Kellaway, a 27-year-old account manager at the Village Bakery in Wrexham, the close friends thought they’d like to do more.
So they challenged their self-confessed hair-obsessed mate Pete Diamond, 28, to shave his newly permed hair-do in a sponsored event to raise funds for NHS workers.
Tom said: “Pete loves his hair and has only just had it permed. He did said he’d shave his head if we could raise £300 thinking we would never get that much. In fact we managed it in a matter of a few minutes! So we all decided if it got to £1,000 we’d all do it.
“Now, less than 24 hours later, we are up to more than £ 2 ,600 which is amazing. The plan now is to raise as much as we can and one of the lads, Sam Kelly, has set up a Virgin Just Giving page and the total is climbing all the time, it really is fantastic.
“The problem is because we have to stay at home we are doing the heads shave next Wednesday evening in our respective homes and broadcasting it live on a social media platform, probably Facebook. We are working out the technicalities.”
He added: “We have all been friends for years and all went to the Elfed High School, well apart from me. I was in Sheffield but my wife went to the Elfed with the others. They have all remained firm friends.
“We just stood outside our homes with everyone else just clapping and thought we could do a bit more. Another friend in the same group is a nurse, Becca Lloyd, and we know what pressure she and her colleagues are under right now.
“I just can’t believe how quickly the total raised has shot up, it’s fantastic. We are now going to really go for it and ask companies to help. We set a £1,000 target, that went to £2,000 and we’ve done that in 24 hours so who knows what the final total will be.”
Pete Diamond, who works for Lloyds Banking Group at Chester Business Park, says he never expected to be shaving his newly permed hair.
He said: “The lads came up with the idea and suggested I shave my head. My hair is my pride and joy to be honest. They were all taking the Mick so I said if you raise £300 I’ll do it. I never thought they would get anywhere near that amount – but they did in about two minutes.
“It was too late then to back down but hey agreed to do it too if we got to a £1,000 and we soon did that.”
He added: “So next Wednesday evening my wife, Kelly, who is a teacher at a Runcorn school will be shaving my hair off. We will be streaming it live on Facebook I think, we are working that out.
“We are all mates, some of us since primary school days and all, apart from Tom, went to the Elfed. We have always remained close.
“I’ve just been so impressed at what the NHS staff have been doing and the pressure they are under we just want to do something to help and it’s certainly snowballed. I can’t believe the amount of money we have raised so far, it’s amazing.”
Sam Kelly, 28, who works at Tata Steel at Shotton, says he had a problem with shaving his hair next Wednesday as he hasn’t got any hair scissors or a hair shaver but he’s come up with solution.
He said: “With the instructions to stay at home and only go out for essentials I didn‘t know what to do but then remembered we have some clippers we bought for Bernie, my cockapoo. So I’ll be using them!
“My partner Scott is going to shave it for me. It’s the best we can come up with. It will be streamed on Facebook I think, it’s the least we can do for the NHS workers on the front line.
“I set up the Virgin Giving page under the NHS Covid-19 urgent appeal. Donations will go towards funding well-being packs and gifts for staff and volunteers on NHS wards and departments. This will include food deliveries, high energy or protein bars and drinks, snacks, refreshments, wash kits, overnight stay kits and so forth.
“The cost of travel, parking and accommodation for NHS staff and volunteers Volunteer expenses and other items as requested by NHS charities that may enhance the well-being of NHS staff and volunteers caring for COVID-19 patients.”
He added: “We really just wanted to help after seeing the strain the NHS staff are under. IT might have started out as a joke between a group of mates but it has grown and who knows how much we will raise.”
Also taking part in the sponsored head shaving challenge are Tom Pennington, a Tata Chemicals employee, Jake Roberts, who works at Capenhurst, Calvin Roberts, who works for Margden Heating, all 28 and former Buckley man Mike Dorrington, also 28 who now lives and works in Liverpool where his girlfriend, Georgia, works as a radiographer at the Royal Liverpool Hospital.
To sponsor the Buckley boys please visit www.gofundme.com/f/brave-the-shave-nhs