Pershore youngster braved the shave for St Richard’s hospice on Friday 4th December, raising over £1,600 to help the hospice care for patients at the end of their lives, and support their families.
Fifteen year old Toby Vallely, who attends Pershore High School, wanted to do something to thank St Richard’s for the care his step-father, Martyn Wakeling, received during his short illness last year. Like any teenager, Toby’s shoulder length curls were an important part of his image but he decided to sacrifice them in the most public way possible – in front of his whole school.
On the day, Toby’s form tutor Jon Knight offered moral support by also having his head shaved. Angie Matthews of UK Barbers in Pershore generously donated her time and skills to make Toby’s plans reality, while Mr Knight’s hair was cropped by his wife and fellow teacher at the school. The pair were cheered on by students, teachers, family and friends as their hair fell to the ground.
Toby said; “The few months of Martyn’s illness and death were difficult for the family. When Martyn collapsed on Christmas Day it was the most terrifying moment of my life, and Mum was hit especially hard as she nursed him throughout his final months. But St. Richard’s Hospice made it so much easier. It is thanks to St. Richard’s Hospice that Martyn died with the woman who loved him most in the world and his best friend with him, and a pair of nurses who visited him regularly to ease his passing and help comfort the family. Martyn’s death didn’t leave sadness in me in the conventional sense, but instead I just felt a responsibility, I wanted to make it mean something more.”
Toby’s brave challenge has also supported two other charities: Pershore High School will match fund cash donations made on the day, raising £950 for Cancer Research; and Toby’s hair has been donated to the Little Princess Trust which produces wigs for children.
To donate to Toby’s fund visit www.justgiving.com/Tobias-Vallely/