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Young fundraisers ‘brave the shave’ in memory of father to raise vital funds for Thames Hospice

Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Yesterday, Wednesday 12 July 2023, Bertie O’Brien, aged 10, together with his best friend Toby Hicks, organised a ‘Crazy Hair Day’ fundraiser at their school, Braywick Court in Maidenhead, in memory of Bertie’s dad James, who was cared for by Thames Hospice in his final days earlier this year. With the support of school friends, family and the wider community, Bertie and Toby have almost reached their target of £10,000.

James passed away following a short battle with cancer in April 2023. Bertie’s mum, Jodie Carter says, “At the beginning of James’ journey, Bertie made a pact with his dad that if he lost his hair, he would shave his hair off so they could be the same, in the hope that James would feel less sad about losing his own hair.

“This stage was sadly never reached and James passed away in April at Thames Hospice.

In memory of his dad, Bertie, from Burnham, wanted to honour his promise and, together with Toby, very bravely decided to shave their hair off and raise vital funds for the Hospice. Not only have their fundraising efforts exceeded all expectations but the boys’ story of friendship and support has been so inspiring!

“Thames Hospice is wonderful with amazingly kind, caring and compassionate staff. They supported us through James’s final days and still support us as a family to this day.”

The whole school have been behind Bertie and Toby’s fundraiser and embraced ‘Crazy Hair Day’ with some magnificent hair styles and colours. After getting their heads shaved during morning assembly in front of the entire school, Bertie and Toby got sponged (along with a few teachers!), decorated cakes as part of a bake sale and hosted an art competition all for donations for the Hospice.

Bertie adds, “I have really enjoyed planning everything with Toby, and the bit I have been most excited about is shaving my head!

“If you believe, you can achieve!”

Toby says, “It has been so fun planning our fundraising day together and watching the amount we have raised grow each day. I’m happy I’ve been there to support Bertie and can’t believe how much we’ve raised.” Layla Pipe, Senior Community Fundraiser at Thames Hospice adds, “We are all incredibly proud of the boys and they have nearly reached their target of £10,000 which is enough to fund 24 hours of care for eight patients.

“The whole school community and beyond have supported these amazing lads and Jodie. A huge thank you from everyone at Thames Hospice; this will make a huge difference to our patients and their loved ones.” You can still help these incredible boys smash their target by donating to their JustGiving page

To view Bertie and Toby’s head shave highlights, please click on the button below:

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