COFFEE and hair don’t normally mix but they did when two hospital employees braved the shave at the Basildon Hospital Macmillan coffee morning.Marie Smallcombe and Josh Wilkins both bravely shaved their hair off to cheers from the coffee morning crowd, raising a combined sum of more than £1,200.Their line managers were on hand to make the first cut, before freelance hairdresser Julie Lamb took over to tidy up their new hairstyles.Josh agreed to brave the shave for his mother-in-law, Pam Rivers, who died of cancer two weeks ago at the age of 62. He said: “I work on Orsett ward, which is a palliative care ward and I see every day the devastating effect of cancer on families and how the Macmillan team help.”But when you have first-hand experience, it does change things. My mother-in-law had been battling cancer for years but started to get more sick a few months back.The Macmillan nurses asked if I’d consider braving the shave and I thought why not?”Pam was always mocking me about my hair and when I told her what I was doing she laughed at me. It’s nice to be able to do something to help and give something back. Josh raised £635, with extra donations expected. His ward manager Heather Reeves shaved his hair, taking his locks down to a number 0 (see photo above).Marie Smallcombe also braved the shave, having her shoulder-length hair shaved down to a number 2 by her line manager Jess Langley. She has raised a minimum £550.Marie said: “Everyone knows someone who has cancer; as well as family affected, a friend of mine is currently having treatment. I wanted to do something to help and I wanted something I could do quite easily. There’s no training for this, it’s not running or swimming or getting on a bike.”Everyone seems to think I’m completely barmy for doing it, especially as a woman, but my hair was short in the 80’s, I’m sure it’ll be fine. The brave the shave was included as part of the Macmillan coffee morning celebrations on Friday 30 September, in the education centre at Basildon University Hospital.
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