Hair today, gone tomorrow #hairhack

On Wednesday 2 July I will be shaving my head to raise funds for two causes very close to my heart, Rowcroft Hospice and JusticeforLB. Those who missed the original campaign have been asking for somewhere to pledge and donate....
In September 2007, days after his 60th birthday, my Dad was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, cholangiocarcinoma (someone once told me the nastier the cancer, the more save you working it out, it has eight!). Just over five years later, after a long journey of surgery, chemotherapy and buckets of positive mental attitude, in November 2012, my Dad died at home. There is no way that this would have been possible, without the amazing support of Rowcroft's Hospice at Home service.

Four months after Dad died, Connor Sparrowhawk (known as LB/laughing boy for short) was admitted to hospital in Oxford for assessment and treatment. Connor was a fit and healthy 18 year old, who also had autism and epilepsy. After 107 days in the specialist unit, he drowned in the bath. An entirely preventable death. His family were thrown into grief, with little support and few answers. Since then they have launched JusticeforLB and 107days to find answers, and improve provision for all people with learning disabilities. They are remarkable.

A crowdfunding campaign has already raised £5k so my hair is definitely coming off. I will split any money I raise 50-50 between Rowcroft Hospice and JusticeforLB.

Rowcroft Hospice has to fundraise for nearly all of the services that it provides, and charges are never made to patients, their families or friends. The Hospice at Home service costs £670,000 a year to run. In the last year they supported 367 patients and their families, to die at home (or another home of their choosing). This works out at a cost of about £1.8k per person. The average length of support provided by the Hospice at Home team is 2-4 days, although it can be longer.

LB's Fighting Fund has been established to help cover the costs of legal representation at the inquest, currently adjourned, as Connor's family seek answers about what happened to him. They are being supported by Inquest and Oxfordshire Family Support Network and any surplus funds will be shared between those two causes. You can read the Inquest press release about Connor's death here.

I'm very grateful to Paul Clarke, who has kindly pledged his time to photograph the event, and to the team at Stylz Hair and Beauty, who despite being guaranteed to lose my custom for a long time, have very generously pledged and agreed to shave my head for me.

Please donate anything that you can afford to these amazing causes, and know that I really appreciate your support. Thank you.


George Julian

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