Hartlepool mum braves the shave for charity that cared for loved ones in final days

Leo Phis with Tracy Weatherill who shaved her head charity head shave. Picture by FRANK REID
Leo Phis with Tracy Weatherill who shaved her head charity head shave. Picture by FRANK REID

A Hartlepool mum is still getting used to her new look after shaving her head for charity.

Cleo Dwyer took part in Macmillan’s Brave The Shave campaign and burst out laughing when she first saw her new do.

Leo Phis before her charity head shave. Picture by FRANK REID

Leo Phis before her charity head shave. Picture by FRANK REID

The 55-year-old, from Belle Vue, took on the hair-raising challenge to thank Macmillan for looking after two of her loved ones in their final days. The charity cared for her best friend, Jessica Mortimer, and partner Les Grihault’s mum, Ray Helm, after they were diagnosed with cancer.

Cleo, who works in event security, was given her new look by Tracy Weatherill who runs Davidoz Hair in the town’s Milton Road.

The mum-of-five’s hair fell almost to her waist and she’d gone five years without having it cut after developing a fear of being touched.

She said: “I was absolutely terrified. Not of having my hair cut but of being touched, but Tracy knew that and she was brilliant and it was okay in the end.

“I was relieved when it was over because I can’t handle being touched but I’m so glad that I did it.

“I’m totally bald now and when I first looked in the mirror I got such a shock that I burst out laughing. I’m so glad that I did it, I’d do it all over again if I had any hair left.”

Cleo says she thinks her loved ones would be proud of what she’s done.

She added: “I think they’d be proud of me. I’ve had a few tears over the last few days because as this was getting closer it made me think about everything.

“Macmillan made their last moments really bearable. The nurses were just fantastic and were really there for them through it all.

“Whatever they needed, day or night, they could phone them up and speak to them, it was like a new best friend for them both.

“I wanted to do something to help them be there for someone else. Macmillan empowered Jessica and Ray to keep their dignity throughout everything they were going through.”

Cleo is also giving her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that makes wigs for children with cancer.

She added: “Almost all the people from Hartlepool taking part in Brave The Shave are having their hair cut by Tracy free of charge and I think she needs to be commended for that. I’m really grateful for her help.”

Cleo is hoping to raise £1,000 and has around £450 so far. To sponsor her, go to www.bravetheshave.org.uk/shavers/cleophis-dwyer