Caz Denning braves the shave to support children living with cancer

Caz Denning, Funeral Director of J H Way Funeral Services in Teignmouth, donated her hair to children living with cancer after witnessing how the disease affects local families, raising over £2,000 for charity in the process.

Caz and her niece Sam had their hair chopped off at Sam’s tearoom, NaughTEA, by local hairdresser Lisa Radford so it could be made into wigs for children living with cancer by Little Princess Trust.

Caz said: “Being a funeral director inspires me to always give something back. If you’re safe and healthy, you’re very lucky, and should always try to do good for others.

“This is especially true for children living with cancer, which I’ve seen deeply affect families across Teignmouth.”

Caz and Sam couldn’t organise sponsored haircuts last year due to restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic but were determined to do so as soon as they could. The pair set up a JustGiving page with a £500 fundraising target in June and were surprised at how quickly donations came in.

Friends, family, colleagues and clients collectively donated £1,000 to the fundraiser within weeks, which now stands at more than £2,000.

Caz said: “Funeral Partners was kind enough to design posters for us to hang up around our branch and at NaughTEA, which were a massive help in raising awareness in the Teignmouth community.

“The power of social media also cannot be understated, as we saw friends, family and Funeral Partners colleagues from across the UK showing their support and deciding to contribute.”

Caz and Sam felt a range of emotions as the time finally came to go under the clippers with family and friends cheering them on.

Caz described: “I was excited and terrified at the same time, and once it was all over, I felt very proud and liberated. Sam had very long hair, so she didn’t need to have a full-on head shave like me.”

Wendy Tarplee-Morris, Founder of the Little Princess Trust, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Caz and Sam for their support of our charity. Their terrific help means we can continue to provide real hair wigs, free of charge, to children and young people at a very difficult time in their lives.

“We know our wigs help to restore the confidence and identity of the young recipients, but we can only provide this free service thanks to the selfless acts of our brilliant supporters!”

Now, looking forwards to 2022, Caz hopes to raise funds by jumping out of a plane with colleagues from J H Way. She concluded: “Although it’s a year away I’m already nervous, but it will be well worth it.”

Donations can be made to Sam & Caz’s Cut and Shave fundraiser at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/sam-campbell-smith