BY RANIA ELEWA
A sixth form teacher has shaved her head bald live on Facebook to raise money for charity.
Keely Brown, who teaches at Woolwich Polytechnic school for boys, gave herself the buzz cut to raise money for charities after she lost her father to cancer and her mother to a heart condition.
Mrs Brown, 54, has raised just over £7,000 for Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and men’s mental health charity Calm.
The school teacher chose to shave her head as she thought it was the easiest way to raise money.
“It’s certainly easier than running a marathon,” she said. “I thought about doing ‘sober for October’ but it’s my birthday this month – so that’s gone out the window.”
Mrs Brown got the clippers out on October 7 and hundreds of people watched while she shaved her locks off.
And no – she was not sent home by the “head” for having an inappropriate hairstyle.
Her students donated £330, which she will put towards their graduation ceremony.
“Their jaws dropped when they saw me the next day,” she said.
“It’s been a wonderful experience and the feedback has been very positive.
I didn’t think it would raise so much money as my initial goal was to raise £1,200 – it was definitely worth it.
“People asked me if I was going to wear hats and wigs – absolutely not.
That would defeat the whole point.
I’m completely rocking the bald look. I’ve gained a bit of time in the morning because I don’t have to do my hair, but I now spend more time doing my makeup – I have the full eyes and everything to maintain a little bit of femininity.”
Mrs Brown grew up in Bermondsey with her mother, Patricia Kenward, and her father, Alec Kenward.
She said: “I lost my dad to cancer and my mum to a heart condition. Most recently, I lost my cousin Jeff Chapman last May – he died of a sudden heart attack aged 61.
“He was a fairly fit bloke. He didn’t smoke, had a drink on weekends and had a real zest for life – his death was out of the blue, it completely rocked the family.”
Calm, which stands for Campaign Against Living Miserably, is leading a movement against male suicide, which the charity says is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45.
Mrs Brown said: “I wanted to raise money for this charity because I had a friend who committed suicide.
It was a real shock because I don’t think anyone realised how depressed he was, it was just a horrible time.”
To donate visit www.virginmoneygiving.com.
Click on ‘make a donation’ and search for Keely Brown.
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