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Gran sacrifices hair for hospice
8:20am Monday 2nd September 2013 in News
BRAVE grandmother Susan Barrett yesterday shaved her head for the children’s hospice who cared for her grandson.
Sue, 62, a pensioner from The Broadway, Pinehurst, went under the razor at Sainsbury’s in Bridgemead to raise money and awareness for Helen & Douglas House, who cared for her grandson Charlie until he died aged just 17 days old.
She said: “My grandson passed away last year and I just wanted to do something to raise awareness for them. They took such good care of him.”
Charlie was born with a condition that meant he could not stay with his family for long. He stayed at Helen House with his parents and passed away on May 23 last year when he was 17 days old.
Sue, who has already raised more than £400 towards her £500 target, has been letting her hair grow long for the challenge since the end of last year.
“Helen House provided fantastic care for Charlie and his family and we were all so very well cared for and supported during that difficult time,” she said.
“It wasn’t until we were in that sad situation that we realised that Helen & Douglas House even existed. There is nowhere closer to Swindon that can provide the specialist care and support that we needed, which to me makes Helen & Douglas House Swindon’s local children’s and young people’s hospice.”
Sue, who felt a little chillier after her shave, will send her hair off to be made into wigs for cancer patients.
Sue’s daughter, Jo Fry, 29, a nurse at the Great Western Hospital, is now expecting her second child with husband Mark but will always miss little Charlie.
She said: “Charlie was born with Short Gut Syndrome which affected his bowel, so he wasn’t able to survive. We decided to take him to Helen & Douglas House to care for him.
“They were fantastic. They offered us so much support.
“I think it’s great what mum’s done. It’s very brave.”
Hairdresser Jane Gordon, 45, from Faringdon, is also a bereaved mum after losing her two-year-old daughter Fiona 12 years ago, and carried out the shave for Sue.
She said: “Sadly my little girl Fiona died at the age of two and during that time the help, care and support that we received from Helen House was amazing, having them there made what was an awful time just a little bit less awful and for that I will always be extremely grateful.
“It’s so wonderful Sue did something like this to raise money for the hospice. They have been such a big support.”
Melanie Richards, area community fundraiser for Helen & Douglas House, said: “I think it’s an amazing thing that she’s done and it just goes to show how the grandparents also support the families, and that they want to help the charity and raise awareness about Helen & Douglas House. It’s the only children’s hospice in Swindon.”
Sue, Jo, Mark and Jane spent the day fundraising for the charity at the Sainsbury’s store, helping to raise as much money as possible for the charity.
To sponsor Sue, visit my.helenanddouglas.org.uk/suebarrettheadshave. For more information about Helen & Douglas House visit www.helenanddouglas.org.uk
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