Reporter braves the shave and raises more than £1,500 for St Wilfrid's Hospice

A reporter who braved the shave for two charities said she has been 'blown away' by her supporters after raising more than £1,500.

Local democracy reporter Fiona Callingham having her head shaved by mum Tracey who works at St Wilfrid's Hospice. Picture: Fiona Callingham
Local democracy reporter Fiona Callingham having her head shaved by mum Tracey who works at St Wilfrid's Hospice. Picture: Fiona Callingham

Local democracy reporter for The News in Portsmouth, Fiona Callingham, parted with her brunette locks in aid of St Wilfrid's Hospice in Bosham, Chichester, and The Little Princess Trust, which creates wigs for children with cancer.

Fiona was assisted by her parents, who are both nurses at the hospice, to produce a Facebook live of the shave on Saturday night with mum Tracey on the clippers and dad Robert in charge of filming.

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The livestream was watched by more than 200 people and within only four hours her Just Giving page had been inundated with donations totalling £1,000, and it has since gone on to hit £1,531.

Fiona before braving the shave

Fiona, 27, who moved from Southsea to be back with her parents in Bognor Regis when lockdown was announced, said: "I have been blown away by how generous everyone has been.

"We only announced it an hour before the livestream so I think it was a surprise to my friends and family. We initially set our target as £100 but it kept going up and up."

The hospice also has a personal connection to the family as both Robert's mum and Tracey's dad were cared for there in the last days of their lives.

Fiona, who used to volunteer and work at the hospice, added: "It's such a special place to both sides of my family, we are so grateful to everyone who sponsored me."

Fiona after braving the shave

Deputy ward sister Tracey, 57, agreed. "Fiona was very brave to take on this challenge for a very good cause, a cause that is close to our hearts both personally and professionally," she said.

"The hospice needs more than £7m every year to look after people in our community who have a life limiting illness.

"We are continuing to look after people during the pandemic so it's important to keep raising funds and awareness of what we do."

Fiona will add all her money raised to a larger fundraiser effort by her parents who will be hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu later this year, also in aid of the hospice.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice supports around 80,000 households from Bognor Regis to Emsworth, providing care both in the community and at its in-patient unit in Bosham.