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Ben's beard shave helps hospital who looked after his dad

Before the shave - Ben Swales and Mark GoodenA kind-hearted son has gone clean shaven to show his support for hospital staff who cared for his dad after he had a stroke.

Ben Swales wanted to say a personal thank you to West Suffolk Hospital after the support and care they had given his dad, David, and their family from Bury St Edmunds.

So he decided to shave off his beard that he had been growing for 18 months – a decision that raised more than £575 for the hospital’s stroke service and Macmillan Unit.

Ben, 23, said: “I initially started growing a beard because I was being a bit lazy and didn’t want to shave. But then I actually started liking it.

“When my dad had a stroke, I saw how well he was looked after by the hospital and I thought shaving my beard off was a way of raising a bit of money and saying thank you.”

David, deputy director of finance at the hospital, said the last few months had highlighted the dedication and skill of his colleagues in a very different light.

He explained: “Once I had a stroke, my perception of the hospital shifted entirely.  I was now a patient and I started to appreciate it on a whole new level. 

“The care I received and continue to receive has been excellent without exception.

“When Ben said that he was going to shave off his beard, and that he was going to raise money for West Suffolk Hospital, I thought it was a fantastic thing to do. This gesture was very touching for me as a parent.

“The amount he raised was over £575 which must go down as the most expensive shave in history.”

Sue Smith, fundraising manager of the My WiSH Charity which supports the hospital, said: “David is a much-loved member of the hospital team and this was a wonderful gesture by Ben, who has also supported the charity in the past.

“On behalf of both the stroke team and the Macmillan Unit, we would like to say a heartfelt thank you to Ben for thinking of us in this way.”

Sue also wanted to thank Mark Gooden, owner of The Hair Company in St Olaves Precinct, who arranged the shave for free.


Charity Registration Number:1049223