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A selfless Kintyre Care Home worker has had her head shaved to help give the home’s residents an extra special Christmas this year.
Wellbeing coordinator Zoe Whitney braved the shave last Friday afternoon to raise money for the residents’ comfort fund which pays for outings, items for activities and birthday and Christmas presents.
‘The fund is part-financed by [care home owner] HC-One, but we like to top it up because we want to do more with the residents,’ Zoe told the Courier.
‘Because of the Covid pandemic, we haven’t been able to open up our home to host our regular fundraising activities and we’ve got our hearts set on buying a super-sized electronic tablet, which would be great for residents video calling their families.
‘But we really want to make sure Christmas this year is extra special because we don’t know what things will be like then.’
A Shropshire native, Zoe moved to Campbeltown three years ago after visiting the area for about 25 years. She joined the team at Kintyre Care Home in October 2019.
She explained that the idea of a sponsored head shave came from resident Jenny Fraser.
‘Jenny was the catalyst,’ Zoe explained. ‘We were actually reading the Courier and there was a story about a girl who’d shaved her head to raise money. Jenny said I should do the same and I thought, do you know what, it’s not a bad idea!’
The residents were involved in planning the event and asked for a buffet and music, so musicians Alex and Arran McAllister were invited along to provide the soundtrack.
As it was her idea, Jenny did the first cut before Maree Townsend, the care home’s deputy manager, took over and finished the job removing Zoe’s shoulder-length locks.
‘I’ve had short hair before but never this short!’ Zoe said. ‘It actually feels very liberating.’
Asked if she’d done anything similar in the past, Zoe said: ‘I’ve been involved with other fundraising events through the home but nothing as grandiose as this!’
Kintyre Care Home manager Jennifer McKellar said: ‘We are all so proud of Zoe, her selfless act is a perfect example of the kindness that HC-One is all about.’
So far, Zoe’s fundraiser has made more than £500 but there is still time to donate – search ‘Zoe Whitney’ on the JustGiving website or contact the home directly.
The care home has other plans in place for future fundraisers, depending on what’s possible at the time.
‘We have a raffle coming up in October if anybody wants to take part in that,’ Zoe said, ‘but we’re trying to think outside the box with our fundraising – we’ve discussed doing a wheelchair push and maybe a Christmas fete, selling jams, chutneys and pickles that the residents themselves have made.
‘We always try to include them in any fundraising we do.’