For Samuel May, growing a beard is one of the worst things imaginable and that is exactly why he’s decided to do it to raise money.

He plans to go through the whole of the year without shaving so he can help a little boy smile again.

He said: “I can’t stand beards. I always have to shave it off.

“We’ve done a lot of fundraising in the past, so now I wanted to do something big.

“I shaved just before Christmas and I won’t now until next January.

“I don’t know what to expect. The idea just popped into my head one day, really out of nowhere,” he said.

Sam, an account manager for Arval Vehicle Leasing, is supporting Bring Back Oliver’s Smile to pay for oxygen therapy to improve the quality of life for seven-year-old Oliver Johnson.

In 2016, the little boy suffered a massive seizure and had acute necrotising encephalitis of childhood, a rare type of inflammation in the brain, which left him severely brain damaged.

Last year, Sam, who lives in the town centre, raised more than £600 for the charity by taking part in a bush tucker trial and he helped raise £15,000 to give Oliver an oxygen chamber he could use at home.

He has known Oliver since he was a toddler and lived in the same street.

He told the Adver: “It’s very itchy at the moment but once that’s gone it will be fine, I’ll get used to it.”

The fundraising target has been set at £2,000 for the whole of 2020 but Samuel is hoping he will be able to raise more through the year.

And as well as helping Oliver, Sam wants to be able to give Oliver a trip to America where his mum, Suzannah, has family.

He added: “It’s incredibly difficult to take him over there.

"You need specialist equipment as well as extra space on the plane.

“But the family wants to see him and why should he miss out on something like that.”

With all the fundraising that Sam has done over the years, Suzannah can’t thank him enough.

She told the Adver: “He bends over backwards for Oliver. He’s truly inspirational.

“I think he’s just heartbroken over how Oliver has ended up. He wants to see him improve and not many people in the world would do things like this.

“It means a hell of a lot to us. I completely trust that he will improve Oliver’s life because he’s a life changing man.

“I want to give him the biggest than you we can ever say. It’s nice that someone has our backs.”

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