A Southwater woman is set to brave the shave and go completely bald to support two charities close to her heart.
Nicole Thackray has so far raised more than £1,000 ahead of shaving her long locks off, which will take place on Monday July 15 at the RSPCA HQ in Southwater where she works as a data and selections executive.
Her hair will be donated to The Little Princess Trust to be made into wigs for children, and the money raised will be split evenly between Great Ormond Street Hospital and RSPCA Leeds branch.
The 25-year-old said: “Everyone tells me how lovely my hair is and how lucky I am as it is not coloured, it is very long and very thick and to be honest, I don’t do enough with it – it’s lucky if it gets washed twice a week!
“I do feel excited, I keep trying to imagine myself without hair in the mirror and just think ‘goodness I’ll have to start wearing makeup at work!’
“I think I have secretly always fancied a head shave and thought I best get on with it while I’m young enough to get away with doing silly things like this.
“Also, it’s totally worth the money from people - this will change the way I look for a long time, I think it’s such a worthy cause.”
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The funds Nicole raises for Great Ormond Street Hospital will go towards funding paediatric research and buying life saving equipment in order to help extremely poorly children and young people.
She said: “This charity and hospital is very important to myself and my family as I have a young family member who has a life limiting rare brain condition causing epilepsy, learning disabilities, sensory disorders, sever sight impairments and cerebral palsy.
“She had to travel to GOSH every fortnight for a year for tests and assessments to undergo brain surgery and sadly this did not work and she continued having 30 seizures a day, each life threatening.
“Three years later she under went a hemispherectomy at GOSH and this disconnected the left hand side of the brain from the right.
“It took Jenna a week to wake up after surgery and miraculously she can now develop a life with no seizures and begin to breath normally.
“This is my family’s story for this hospital, but everyday 618 children arrive there and the brightest minds come together and achieve medical breakthroughs!”
The money Nicole raises for the RSPCA Leeds Branch, chosen because it was her local branch before moving to Southwater a year ago, will go towards the Staffies in the charity’s care to give them toys, blankets and training tools in order to set them up for their future life.
Nicole added: “Everyone who knows me knows how much I adore Staffies and there are far too many of this breed in the RSPCA, so I am doing my bit to help these fabulous dogs and allow them to enjoy their life a little bit more in kennels.”
“The Leeds branch can take up to 15 dogs and is a safe haven for abandoned and neglected animals where they can be rehabilitated before they are found new homes.
“Not only does this branch care for the animals who are staying but they also spent £14,458 last year within the local community to secure veterinary assistance, micro chipping and neutering.”
Following her head shave, Nicole says he won’t be wearing a wig and will embrace the baldness, and is looking forward to having her picture taken alongside her boyfriend of seven years who is also bald.
She added: “I also think what a story to tell people, that I fully shaved my hair off in my twenties, what a nutter!
“I also keep imagining the look of the little children’s face when they receive my hair as a wig - If I do say so myself, it will make a cracking wig.
“I can’t wait to know that a little girl will be getting all the compliments I used to get on my hair, dogs will have toys not half used by previous occupants and better equipment throughout their stay at kennels and that I can see my family member get the best care in the UK to help her have the life she deserves through the miraculous work the hospital provides.”
To donate, visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/NicoleThackray