Shortly before settling down to shave slices of turkey and ham onto his plate on Christmas, Jordan Austin, finally went under the shears himself, raising over £600 for two very worthy local charities.
The trainee accountant from Donemana had been threatening never to address the facial follicles unless friends and family paid a handsome ransom in support of Foyle Search and Rescue and ZEST, a local organisation dedicated to supporting people in Londonderry suffering from emotional pain and hurt.
But after two months’ fundraising Joran at last surrendered the beard on December 19.
“I finally did the shave-off last Saturday (December 19). I managed to raise £650, £380 for ZEST - healing the hurt, and £270 for Foyle Search & Rescue,” he explained.
Earlier this year the former Foyle College pupil, who is currently undertaking an accountancy training contract, told the Sentinel that there was a serious message behind the lighthearted shave-off.
“Suicide has always been something I’ve wanted to raise money for, it’s such a serious problem in our society, but still a lot of people hate talking about it and try to avoid it if at all possible,” he explained.
“So, it’s been at the back of my mind for a while, especially since April 2014 when I lost my friend from the Ulster Project, Danny Higgins,” he added.
The Western Trust Health and Social Care Trust’s Improvement Department supports a number of suicide prevention initiatives in the Western area.
If you or someone you know are in crisis or despair, Lifeline counsellors are available 24/7 via the helpline to provide you with instant support.
Contact Lifeline on 0808 808 800.