Letchworth mum loses her locks in £4k Garden House Hospice Care fundraiser

Claire McCarthy has braved the shave for Garden House Hospice Care. Picture: Claire McCarthy

Claire McCarthy has braved the shave for Garden House Hospice Care. Picture: Claire McCarthy - Credit: Archant

A Letchworth mum has raised over £4,000 for Garden House Hospice Care with a lockdown-inspired sponsored head shave.

Mum and stepmum Claire McCarthy had originally hoped to raise £500 for the Letchworth-based hospice, but has been “blown away” by the support she has received – with her total now reaching £4,117.

Claire chose to raise money for the hospice since one of her friends has recently become a resident, and is receiving end of life care. Claire said she was also inspired by stories from friends and family who hailed the “amazing care” being provided by the hospice.

“Even though I only had short hair, the thought of shaving it all off terrified me,” Claire said. “But then I thought, ‘hey its only hair, it will grow back!’

“My friend was admitted a couple of weeks ago, and I just wanted to help in some way. I’ve felt a bit helpess during this lockdown. I can’t volunteer because I am looking after my kids, and I’m also looking after my dad who is paralysed. So I just thought I’d do my bit – but I honestly didn’t expect to get any more than £500.”

Claire’s sponsored shave took place last Saturday – live streamed on Facebook – as her husband delighted in pulling no punches with the clippers.

“I’ve never had hair this short in my life,” Claire said. “I’ve had to wear a hat in bed because I’m so cold.

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“I can honestly say I have been blown away. I think we’re in a time at the moment when people want to give, and so many people have got in touch with messages of support.”

Director of income at Garden House Hospice Care, Carla Pilsworth, added: “We are extremely grateful to Claire for doing this challenge for the hospice. We all think that she is incredibly brave and selfless.”

Last month, Garden House Hospice Care launched its emergency COVID-19 appeal amid expected losses of over £1 million owing to the coronavirus pandemic.

CEO Sue Plummer said the hospice – which serves Stevenage and North Herts – was “forecasting a loss of £25,000 a week – which is £1.3 million this year,” which “poses a serious threat to our future.”

If you would like to donate to Claire’s cause, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/clairemacsheadshave