Braving the shave - Cattle handler, 21, loses her long locks for cancer charity at Aylsham Show
PUBLISHED: 20:05 26 August 2019 | UPDATED: 07:34 29 August 2019
A Norfolk cattle handler's 23-inch long hair has been shaved off in public to raise money for a cancer charity - and to supply a valuable resource for chemotherapy patients.
Laura Marsh, from Binham near Wells, "braved the shave" while being cheered on by hundreds of onlookers at the 2019 Aylsham Show at Blickling, where she was shorn by livestock judges and stewards to raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
But her long hair will not go waste, as it will be donated to the Little Princess Trust be turned into natural wigs for cancer patients who have lost their own hair during chemotherapy treatments.
The 21-year-old said she was determined to help people suffering with a disease which has had an impact on her family.
"I have had family members who have died from cancer, or recovered from it, so I have been thinking about Brave the Shave for a couple of years," she said.
"I found out this year that my mother's friend has been diagnosed with cancer, which made it all the more important. I thought if I don't do it this year, I'll never do it.
"One of the reasons is they are always looking for natural hair to make wigs. My hair is quite long, but it will grow back quickly so I wanted to give what I can.
"It is around 23 inches long in a pony tail, but we are going to shave it all off to 'grade one'. If you are doing it, you might as well go all the way."
Miss Marsh is a housekeeper at the Crown Hotel in Wells, but she also has an animal science and welfare qualification and helps her parents Andrew and Wendy Marsh to show Holstein dairy cattle from WB Case in Binham, where her father is the head herdsman.
The Aylsham Show was a successful day for the farm, winning the top interbreed dairy title.
By the time Miss Marsh, now shaven-headed, led the champion dairy cow into the main ring at the head of the grand parade of cattle, the total raised from sponsorship and bucket collections had far exceeded her original target of £200 - and she has now raised more than £1,445.
- To donate, see Laura's fundraising page on the Macmillan Cancer Support "Brave the Shave" website.