Helga heads up team for a charity shave

Helga Charters, her daughter Victoria and Jeff Castle of Boots Opticians in Morpeth after the head shaves and hair cut.
Helga Charters, her daughter Victoria and Jeff Castle of Boots Opticians in Morpeth after the head shaves and hair cut.

A hair-raising way to collect cash for good causes has been extremely successful.

Morpeth resident Helga Charters came up with the head shave idea to help with her sponsorship amount for a major challenge she will be part of next year.

Helga, Victoria and Jeff before the head shaves and hair cut.

Helga, Victoria and Jeff before the head shaves and hair cut.

She and 39 others have come together to sign up for the Women V Cancer London to Paris three-day cycle ride in September, 2018.

The team of Cycle Sisters will be among those doing the event, managed by Action for Charity in aid of Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.

Helga, matron at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, was not alone when she went into Morpeth town centre to have her head shaved. It was done by Joanne Thain at Hair Inc without charge. When she was discussing it a few weeks beforehand with staff at Boots Opticians in Morpeth, one of the team there – Jeff Castle – decided to have his head shaved just after Helga at the same venue.

In addition, her daughter Victoria, 11, had a significant amount of her hair cut off to donate to the Little Princess Trust charity, which provides real-hair wigs free of charge to youngsters in the UK and Ireland who lose their hair during cancer treatment.

Theo, 12, came along to support his mother and sister.

With great support from family, friends and Newcastle Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust colleagues at all levels, Helga’s fund-raising total is about £2,500 at the moment, with more to come. She said: “All of us in the Cycle Sisters team have a connection to Alex Reed of Felton – either friends or friends of friends – who is currently undergoing treatment for cancer.

“She put an email out about the London to Paris cycle ride and it spread from there. I was happy to sign up and I’m looking forward to the challenge.

“Some of us will be getting together for training runs and there will be some joint fund-raising activities and events.

“The head shave day was fun and I’m grateful to Jeff, of Boots Opticians, for taking part. Victoria was very excited and she quite likes her short hair look.

“I had to wear a beanie hat at first, but I’m used to it now and it was well worth it as the number of donations I’ve received has been amazing.”

The London to Paris cycle ride will cover approximately 240 miles through picturesque English and French rural landscapes.

The challenge finishes at the Eiffel Tower.