A bell ringer at Lincoln Cathedral will have his first major haircut for three-and-a-half years as he braves the shave for two charities close to his heart.
Alexander Bell, who is in his final year of sixth form at Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School, has only had two small trims in more than three years and said it will be weird not having long hair, but he is determined to raise more money for good causes.
The 18-year-old, who has been a bellringer at Lincoln Cathedral since 2017, decided to have his hair cut by Burton Road barber Frank Connell on December 29, after reading the touching story of his fundraising efforts which have amassed more than £1 million over the years.
Alex’s original plan was to get his hair chopped off and send it to the Little Princess Trust, which is a charity that provides real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer.
The Lincoln-born teenager later decided he also wanted to turn the big haircut into a fundraising challenge to raise money for St Barnabas Hospice, as well as the charity HeadSmart which focuses on raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain cancer in babies, children and teens.
Alex had set himself an initial goal of raising £150, but the total was already in excess of £680 at the time of publication, including donations from some bell ringers – make a donation here.
He told The Lincolnite he will split the money raised between the two charities because St Barnabas helped to look after someone close to his heart in September, while HeadSmart is also a charity with a personal meaning to him that he says does ‘amazing’ work.
Having his hair cut off is not going to be as easy as he originally thought as it has become part of who he is, but he is determined to help make a difference to other people.
Alex, who hopes become a vet in the future, said: “It will feel weird and I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it as I’ve had long hair for so long. So many people who have donated have only known me with long hair and I never excepted to get this much money.
“The main thing is the charities are getting money and the awareness and I have had an incredible response.”