A Wrexham man has raised £1,515 by shaving off his beard and long hair for the Wales Air Ambulance.

Christopher Parry, 47, from Cefn-Y-Bedd started to grow his hair and beard since before the original lockdown in March 2020.

Reflecting on why he decided to grow his hair and beard and then do the ‘close shave’ fundraiser, the Airbus employee, said: “I started growing it just prior to the lockdown starting in March 2020, it started as a bit of fun as the hairdressers were closed and then i carried on growing it until it was shaved.

“The Wales Air Ambulance is a good cause and I often see if flying around when I am in the Porthmadog area, the work it does is vital and a worthy cause.”

In December 2020, the Charity achieved its aim of operating a 24/7 service. Wales now has access to the service’s Emergency Department-standard critical care around the clock and to keep the helicopters in the air, the Charity needs to raise £8 million every year.  

Some of Chris’ friends were eager to get their hands on the clippers, they carried out his ‘close shave’ to remove the mass of hair and return him to ‘normality’.

Chris, who owns a caravan on the north Wales coast, is now adjusting to life without his long hair and beard, he added: “It feels strange as I got used to the beard and long hair, although it feels better in the warm weather to not have the long hair and beard. I’m glad it has gone.”

Debra Sima, Community fundraiser for the Wales Air ambulance, said: “A huge thank you to Chris who underwent a ‘close shave’ for charity. It must have been a big decision for Chris to shave his long hair and also his beard after growing it for so long.

“He has raised a fantastic £1,515 for our lifesaving charity during its 20th anniversary year. On behalf of everybody at Wales Air Ambulance, and everybody across Wales who will benefit from this fundraising, I would like to say thank you to Chris and to all those who supported his close shave fundraiser.”

There’s still time to donate to Chris’ fundraiser via his Just Giving page Christopher's Close Shave.

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.