Dylan’s extreme trim in memory of mum will raise cash for Thorpe Hall Hospice

Dylan Duell, from Exton, is to shave his hair off to raise funds for Thorpe Hall Hospice EMN-160310-115950001
Dylan Duell, from Exton, is to shave his hair off to raise funds for Thorpe Hall Hospice EMN-160310-115950001

A schoolboy is set to have his head shaved in front of hundreds of fellow pupils and teachers to raise funds for a hospice which cared for his mum.

Dylan Duell, 11, from Exton, will have the extreme trim on November 9 at St Nicholas Primary School, in Cottesmore.

His mum, Michelle Beniston, tragically died at Sue Ryder Care’s Thorpe Hall Hospice aged just 33 in October 2014 following a battle with cancer.

Not only did staff at the hospice provide superb care for Michelle, they also offered support to Dylan, brother James 14, and sister Megan 8, to help them deal with their loss.

Dylan and James’ dad, Paul Duell, who had been separated from Michelle for around 10 years, said: “I didn’t know anything about Thorpe Hall until Michelle was cared for there, but I soon found out it is an amazing place that provides outstanding care to patients and also their relatives.

“They had staff who worked with the children to help them come to terms with what was going, to prepare memory boxes, salt memory jars and explain things like what happens at a funeral. That’s not an easy job, but they did it superbly.

“Dylan has never forgotten the care his mum received in her final weeks, or the help he received personally, and wants to continue raising money for them.”

The family have already raise around £3,400 through a series of fundraising events including a sponsored bike ride; a ‘tinsel day’ at Casterton Business and Enterprise College, where James is a pupil; and a card sale to name just a few.

Now Dylan wants to break through the £4,000 mark through his head shave.

Paul added: “When Dylan first said he wanted to get his head shaved to raise money, my initial reaction was ‘no chance’. He’d been growing his hair for a while and it looks great, so I wasn’t sure it was a good idea.

“But I thought about it a bit more and he was adamant he wanted to do it.

“It’s entirely his own idea and he is following in James’s footsteps by being a super fundraiser.”

Thorpe Hall Hospice fundraiser Nilesh Patel said: “We’re so proud to have the continuing support of Dylan and his family who have already done so much for Thorpe Hall Hospice.

“Dylan has a fabulous head of hair which is his pride and joy, so what a wonderful gesture his headshave is.”

To donate, visit the fundraising page set up by step-mum Leah Meeks at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Leah-Meeks

You can also donate via text message. To do so, text MUMA72 £1 to £10 to 70070.