Punchline Business and Community Champion: Locals deliver NHS cash with Isolation Beard Challenge
By Sarah Wood | 1st April 2020
A group of big-hearted Gloucestershire locals from all walks of life have turned a lack of grooming into The Isolation Beard Challenge, to raise money for the Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity in its efforts to tackle Covid-19.
With social isolation, social distancing and working from home, not to mention the closure of hairdressers, barbers and beauty salons, grooming is the last thing on the mind for many people. And what started as a joke between friends Dave Feltham, Dave Colliver and Rob Harding is growing in momentum, with over £8000 already pledged in just a few days.
The campaign was started by Dave Feltham, with Dave Colliver and Rob Harding quickly getting on board. Dave Colliver is an HGV driver at Gloucestershire logistics company, Downton, and his wife is a nurse at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital. Rob Harding and his wife are both police officers.
Which is why Punchline has singled the campaign out as one of what it is calling its Business and Community Champions, a roll call of honour being sponsored by the county's local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP.
Anyone can take part in the Isolation Beard Challenge and the challenge is simple - donate £10 to the cause and start growing your beard. Participants post weekly photos of their progress and no shaving is allowed until the pubs re-open. Anyone who gives in and shaves before lockdown is lifted must pay a £100 fine to the fund.
Dave Colliver said: "There are over 2000 people taking part already. We've got doctors, nurses, shop workers and pub landlords on board. There are people of all ages - from kids through to blokes in their 70s. It has snowballed and it just keeps going."
Dave's employer, Downton, is supporting the Isolation Beard Challenge by publicising the challenge through its social media and staff newsletter.
You don't need to be able to grow a beard to take part. Children have had their heads shaved, ladies are letting their roots grow out and the first woman has just taken the plunge and head her head shaved. Alternatively, you can leave your hair alone and just sponsor others to take the plunge.
Dave added: "We've had men who have had their beards for 30 years shave them off."
Organisers are planning a big celebratory shave in the pub when lockdown is finally over and are currently seeking support from companies who may wish to get involved.
Find out more and join the challenge on the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/235904837798006/
Or sponsor participants and give to Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity on the just giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/isolationbeards
We here at Punchline think the Isolation Beard Challenge is inspiring and we know there are many stories of both big and small deeds by local businesses which are using their skills, staff, resources, generosity, time and more to make a difference to our community when we all need it most.
GFirst LEP, which exists to support the Gloucestershire economy and business community, thinks this is something we should celebrate - and we couldn't agree more!
Send us your inspiring stories - you don't have to write them, just tell us about them - and we will do the rest.
The Growth Hub Gloucestershire
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