Hair we go!

TWO Ballymoney charity fundraisers are set for hair-raising experiences this weekend.

One is due to undergo a close shave while the other will be getting a style to ‘dye’ for!

Manager of the Ulster Cancer Foundation’s (UCF) Ballymoney branch, Gina Shields pledged to change her hair to pink to raise money for the charity - or shave it off completely if she raised more than £500.

And due to the generosity of local people she will be going under the shearers for a very close crop this Saturday from noon (16th).

Gina explained: “The event is going to be a bit of mixed emotions for me - I obviously want to raise as much money as possible for UCF however I don’t fancy the shaving my head idea!“

Ballymoney shop assistant Alan Crawford is also getting in on the act but he’s still deciding what colour to dye his locks.

“I thought this would be a great way to help the charity. I haven’t decided yet what colour to dye my hair though – I’m thinking of red or maybe multi-coloured. I’m open to suggestions!” he said.

Joyce Savage, UCF’s Head of Appeals and Marketing, said: “We are throwing down the gauntlet to men (and women) and are calling on them to get the chop or add a little colour to their lives for this worthy cause.

“You can go for a Number One all over, a red Mohican, or Coco the Clown tufts on the side of your head, whatever takes your fancy. You could do a lot worse than follow the example of David Beckham and give yourself a whole new look and raise cash for UCF at the same time.

“Cancer has a major impact on the health of men in Northern Ireland. Each year almost 6,000 men here are diagnosed with some form of the disease – that’s a shocking 22 men every working day. Around 2,000 lose their lives to cancer each year.“We are indebted to the on-going support from BT and their creative input into this initiative. They have been extremely generous with their expertise, helping us with outdoor advertising and graphics.”

“The money we raise will go towards helping cancer patients and their families across Northern Ireland and will fund services including support groups, counselling, health checks and advice, education programmes, smoking cessation clinics, Male Quick Fit sessions, art and creative writing therapy.

Peter Morris, Director of Consumer and Corporate Services, BT, said: “We are delighted to offer our ongoing support to the Ulster Cancer Foundation and in particular for their hair-raising initiative. Our own peoples’ health and wellbeing is of paramount importance to BT, and our relationship with the charity provides us with the added opportunity to educate and raise awareness and understanding of men’s health issues in general”.

It is only £10 to register for Shave or Dye and all we ask is that you raise a minimum of £50 sponsorship. Once you have registered, you will be sent a pack which will include an iconic Shave or Dye T-shirt, poster, sponsorship details plus information about men’s health and how/where the money raised will be spent.

Remember to encourage your friends to get in on the action by posting your new hair-raising image on your Facebook page along with donation details.

If you would like to join in the fun or make a donation, log on to ulstercancer.org/shave-or-dye or facebook.com/shaveordyeni. Email Sarah at sarahatcheson@ulstercancer.org or call 9068 0765 for more details.

The Ballymoney shop has been open for just over a year and has boosted the coffers of the UCF to the tune of thousands of pounds.

Gina said all associated with the charity are very grateful and encouraged anyone interested in a more hands-on role to get in touch.

Gina added: “We are very dependent on volunteers and always need more, so if you have any time to spare, we would be delighted if you could come along and give us a helping hand.

“Even if you only have a few hours to spare on a one off occasion or by simply donating a few hours per week, that would be wonderful.

“Volunteering in our charity shops is a great way of making new friends, adding to your skills and experience while helping us fight against cancer.” Liz Cunningham, who has volunteered in the Ballymoney shop for the last two years and was recently awarded the EU Volunteer Recognition Award for her dedication to volunteering, would definitely recommend it.

“I love the challenge and meeting the customers, and get great pleasure knowing I have made a difference,” she added.

To find out more about Shave or Dye or to make a donation simply call in to the UCF shop.

Gina will be having her head shaved from noon on Saturday at the shop and Alan will be revealing his new style at the same time.