A Carrickfergus man and his colleagues have undergone a hair-raising charity challenge in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.
Jim Beggs took part in a sponsored shave at Ballymena Livestock Market, where he works as a yard supervisor, on March 25.
A number of colleagues joined in to have their hair, eyebrows and beards cut, coloured and styled, raising over £8500 and counting.
Jim was inspired to take action for the charity after the passing of a close family friend, Ruby Hart, just a few weeks ago.
“The Macmillan Unit in Antrim was a great support to my friend and her family in the last few days of her life. I wanted to do something practical to support the continued care of those suffering from cancer,” he said.
A newly created ‘Shaving Station’ was set up for the event, where brave volunteers were styled by Diane Bartlett, Gemma Moody and Hannah Griffith.
Staff members Johnny Getty and Johnny Mackey sported pink hair with pride, while market customer Victor Campbell got involved by shaving off his beard.
A large crowd gathered to watch the event and Graham Loughery, auctioneer, sold some donated items in a short auction.
“Jim told me his initial target was £500; I thought he would get more,” said Graham. “It’s testament to his popularity and personality that he got so much support from friends, family, colleagues and customers to raise a fantastic amount of money for a charity close to his heart. Well done to Jim and his volunteers for their help.”
The novelty value of Jim’s colourful hair has even attracted a few extra visitors to the market, boosting the fundraising total further.
“I have been overwhelmed by the support from everyone,” said Jim. “What started out as a personal thought and a bit of fun has turned into something that has really brought people together and raised an amount of money that I never imagined.
“It’s a crazy thing really! The farming community is facing difficult financial times at the moment but it is still clear to see where their priorities lie. This event shows how the community will pull together for others when it really matters. I realise that without the support of those around me the event never would have been the success that it was. It has been a real team effort.”
Meanwhile, Vera McWilliam and Leslie McAdoo received the cheque on behalf of Macmillan Cancer Support.
“All money raised in Northern Ireland stays within Northern Ireland and this money will go a long way to help a lot of people,” Vera said.
“On behalf of Macmillan we extend sincere thanks to the team at Ballymena Livestock Market and also to those who have kindly donated.”