A visit to the hairdresser has seemed out of reach until recently, but some people go a lot further than a trim or tidy up and go for the most radical restyle – all in the name of charity.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s Brave The Shave campaign sees people up and down the country raising sponsorship money by having their locks, bobs, and tresses completely removed. It’s a bold new look to join the intrepid band of ‘shavers’. People have all sorts of reasons for taking on the challenge and most have a personal story to tell about a friend or loved one affected by cancer. They do it because they want to show their support, to say I’m with you, as well as to raise money so Macmillan can do whatever it takes to be there for people with cancer.

Our cover photo shows Vera, who parted with her golden locks and had her head shaved to raise money for Macmillan when her granddaughter was diagnosed with leukemia a few days before her second birthday.

So far in 2021, nearly £600,000 has been raised, enough to fully fund 11 Macmillan nurses for a year. More than 1,450 have taken part and more sign up through Macmillan’s website each week. Since 2015 the brave shavers have raised more than £22.7m.

With 1 in 2 of us predicted to receive a cancer diagnosis at some time in our lives, it’s a cause close to everyone’s heart. Whilst research will, we hope, lead to cures, people need help now and in years to come and that’s why braving the shave is a popular way to raise money.

Macmillan funds nurses and other healthcare professionals and services to provide physical, emotional, and financial support. The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre at University Hospitals Southampton is open to visitors. Staff and volunteers are available to listen, support, and provide information Mondays to Fridays between 10 am – 4 pm. You can book a time to visit (023 8120 6037 or email MacmillanCentre@uhs.nhs.uk) or just knock on the door if you are already in the hospital.

If you want to Brave the Shave, head on over to Macmillan’s website (www.macmillan.org.uk). Once signed up, you’ll receive a fundraising pack of materials with advice and suggestions for fundraising.