Hair we go...

Three fabulous fundraisers have lost their locks and pulled in more than £7,100 for Ark Cancer Centre Charity.

Husband and wife Craig and Claire Killick and their friend Mark Dolby boldly went for a bald new look to support the charity. The fundraising event exceeded all expectations after Claire said she would join Craig and Mark in losing her hair if the total of donations hit £3,000. With just 48 hours to go, the sum pledged by supporters was just over £2,000 – but then mother-of-two Claire made a moving video message explaining why she was willing to risk losing her lovely long hair.

Over the next two days, Claire’s message was viewed more than 5,000 times – and by the time the cutting hour came at The Bakers Arms, in Basingstoke, last Thursday evening, the target had been smashed. And the money has just kept rolling in – with the figure passing £7,100 by Monday.

Claire and Craig, who run five Truly Scrumptious Beauty salons in north Hampshire, and Mark, who is a director of Beaufort Asset Management, were delighted with the success of the fundraising feat. Craig said: “Our Truly Scrumptious Beauty salons team were aiming to raise £3,000 for the charity in a year, so to reach more than £7,000 in just three weeks is overwhelming.
“It’s clear that a lot of people were particularly moved by Claire’s video message as that really accelerated the fundraising.”

Claire added: “I kept telling myself that losing my hair was not a big deal, but I came to realise that it is because that is what happens to so many cancer patients. The video message raised awareness of the charity, cancer centre project, and pushed up the fundraising. I’m so pleased that it worked, and I am getting used to my new look.”

Claire has donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for young cancer patients.

And it was an emotional experience for Mark too as he was inspired to have his head shaved in tribute to his dad Geoff, who lost his battle with cancer less than two months ago.

Mark, who raised funds for Ark Cancer Centre Charity earlier this year as part of the Ark100 team that took part in the Destination Basingstoke Phillips Half-Marathon, said: “I’ve had great support from my wife Lorraine, family, friends and business colleagues. I’m just keen to do what I can to support this very good cause.”

Craig, who will be cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End in support of the charity in 2016, said: “I wanted to kick off our year of fundraising in a small but effective way, but I never imagined that we would achieve such a fantastic result. For different reasons, it was particularly emotional for Mark and Claire to join me in having their hair shaved off, and we are all so grateful to everyone who supported us.”

Mark Jones, director of fundraising and communications for Ark Cancer Centre Charity, said: “Hats off to Craig, Claire and Mark and all those who made a donation. Events like this really make such a difference to the campaign to raise funds and awareness.”

All three fundraisers said they wanted to thank Marcus Giamattei, from Marc Antoni Hair Salons, for supporting the event by wielding the clippers and scissors.