Hair loss is a gain for hospice

Jack Kay cuts off a piece of his colourful beard

Jack Kay cuts off a piece of his colourful beard

A government worker is less hirsute after inspiring a campaign which has raised £14,000 for UK hospices.

Hair for Hospices began when Dr Jack Kay, whose wife died of cancer in December, mentioned to workmates at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs that he was considering shaving off his beard of 38 years for sponsorship.

“Within an hour, two colleagues said they would join me. That afternoon it went company-wide. The next day it went international.”

His beard was shaved off in sections at venues including Reading Hebrew Congregation, to which he belongs. “A lot of the community got involved — even Rabbi Zvi Solomons took off his beard.

“The hospice in Reading took wonderful care of my wife. She was there on and off in her last year, and for her final month. They need to raise £1,300 a day just to keep going.”

Other fundraisers have included an underwater scuba salon.

    Last updated: 4:17pm, August 16 2012