Two barbering educators have come together to organise a fantastic weekend devoted to the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT). CHECT is the only UK charity dedicated to helping people affected by retinoblastoma (Rb) – a rare form of eye cancer that affects young children, mainly under the age of six.
At just six weeks old, Alison Scattergood, hair/barbering lecturer at East Durham College and Ambassador for the MHFed, was diagnosed with Rb. At this time, the only option was enucleation (removal of the eye) and an artificial eye was put in its place. Alison’s brave and courageous personality has meant that she has not let this hold her back in life, or in her career, and in her many years in the hair and barbering industry she has made a massive impact on her colleagues and pupils.
More recently, Mike Taylor of VTCT Centre Mike Taylor Education and Head Educator for the Great British Barbering Academy, was given the devastating news that his two year old daughter, Alice had Rb. Specialists gave a 50% chance of saving her eye with chemotherapy treatment and she has recently completed her sixth cycle of chemotherapy. Alice will stay under the supervision of the Royal London Hospital for the foreseeable future.
Soon after Alice’s diagnosis, Mike discovered that his daughter had been diagnosed with the same cancer as Alison had as a child. As well as the fantastic support Mike and his family received from CHECT, both Mike and his wife spoke to Alison at length about the diagnosis, the treatment options and the effects this has on the family and both CHECT and Alison gave much needed comfort and encouragement to them all. After meeting up at Barber Connect in June, the pair decided they wanted show their support to the fantastic charity as well as raise vital awareness for this rare childhood cancer, as early detection can save children’s eyes and lives.
Saturday 19th May – The duo are asking all barbershops and hair salons to get involved in raising awareness of childhood eye cancer by getting all your staff to wear eye patches for the day. Mike and Alison said “Hairdressers and barbers are the biggest employed sector in the UK so we really hope to gain massive awareness of CHECT and Rb. This will lead to discussions between clients and staff and get the word out there – also you may be able to get some press coverage”. If you want your salon or barbershop to get involved, contact CHECT at email@example.com
Sunday 20th May – Monday 21st May – Hair and Barber UK have very generously donated two stages to Mike and Alison’s project, where they will host a fantastic two days of extraordinary talent in both hair and barbering. As well as demonstrations, the stages will also host a prize draw and raffle with some fantastic prizes to give away. Big named brands and individuals have already pledged their support for this amazing fundraising initiative for CHECT and Alison and Mike hope this will continue.
Please get involved and show your support!
For charity and awareness enquiries, contact Diane Emery of CHECT at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Hair/Barber UK stage enquiries, contact Mike Taylor at email@example.com
To find out more about retinoblastoma and CHECT please visit www.chect.org.uk