CHARITY MATTERS: Teenager has her head shaved to help bomb squad heroes

First published in Didcot Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Didcot and Wallingford. Call me on 01865 425425

DIDCOT sixth-former Alice McCaffery had her long hair shaved off to raise money for bomb disposal experts based at the town’s Vauxhall Barracks.

Alice, 16, a student at Didcot Girls’ School, is aiming to raise £500 for the Felix Fund charity, which supports injured servicemen from the base’s 11 Explosive Ordnance Disposal Regiment.

The fund was established in 2011 to support the bomb disposal experts when they return from Afghanistan. It raised £500,000 in its first year.

Alice – who lives with her family off Newlands Avenue in Didcot and is a member of the Didcot detachment of the Oxfordshire Army Cadet Force – grew her hair half way down to her waist, ready for the headshave earlier this month. So far she has collected £259.

She said: “Friends of the family have served in Afghanistan.

“I know how brave the troops are at Vauxhall Barracks and wanted to do something to help.

“When my hair was shaved I had a number two cut, so it’s very short and in this weather my head feels quite cold. I’ve set up a justgiving page online and I’m hoping donations will keep coming in.”

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Alice’s hair was shaved by hairdresser Zoe Pavli and the teenager lives with her mum Anne-Marie, dad Bill, brothers William, 23, Connor, 19, Callum, 18, Cameron, 11, and sister Kayeigh, 21.

Capt Jayne Reynolds, adjutant for 11 EOD Regiment, said: “Alice’s long hair has clearly been her pride and joy so we feel privileged that she has chosen the Felix Fund as her charity.”

Organisers of the Felix Fund set a £1m target when they launched the fund in 2011. So far it has paid for therapeutic breaks to help bomb squad members returning to the UK after their stressful tours of duty, and adventure training courses including rock climbing, mountain biking and canoeing.

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