Hair today, gone tomorrow for charity growers

After the shave: From left: Steve McLaughlan, Chris Friend, Alan Wilkin, Mark Bishop and Steve Taylor in their red Grow Campaign T-shirts. TJ the barber is also pictured.
After the shave: From left: Steve McLaughlan, Chris Friend, Alan Wilkin, Mark Bishop and Steve Taylor in their red Grow Campaign T-shirts. TJ the barber is also pictured.
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A man who needs a 24-hour oxygen supply after contracting a rare disease has been joined by a group of friends to raise more than £1,100 for the charity which helped save his life.

Alan Wilkin, from Alnwick, has desquamative interstitial pneumonia (DIP), which developed by unknown causes six months after he had a double lung transplant in 2011,

Before the shave. From left: Steve McLaughlan, Chris Friend, Alan Wilkin, Mark Bishop and Steve Taylor in their red Grow Campaign T-shirts. TJ the barber is also pictured.

Before the shave. From left: Steve McLaughlan, Chris Friend, Alan Wilkin, Mark Bishop and Steve Taylor in their red Grow Campaign T-shirts. TJ the barber is also pictured.

The 45-year-old struggles to walk very far at any one time and he needs constant help with his breathing.

In an effort to give something back to The Freeman and Lung Transplant Association, Alan, and four of his friends – Mark Bishop, Steve Taylor, Steve McLaughlan and Chris Friend – embarked on a quirky fund-raising idea.

The quintet took part in The Grow Campaign – to go unshaven for almost three months. And last Thursday, the group – all from the town’s Chapel Lands – came to the end of their challenge – by having their facial hair chopped at Alnwick’s Shepherds Rest.

The beards were sheared by TJ of 06 Marmaris Barbers in Amble, who also joined in on the night and had his beard shaved by married father-of-two Alan.

Chris, who came up with the fund-raising idea, said: “Thursday was great. Lots of family and friends came to support – and laugh at – the guys having their beards removed.

“There was a strong sense of community and thanks to all who have donated to a brilliant cause. Plans have started to do another Chapel Lands fund-raiser next year.”

To donate to The Grow Campaign, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/Steve-Mclaughlan1 or justgiving.com/growcampaign