‘The support is overwhelming’ – Grandmother has head shaved for cancer charity at Royston’s parish church

PUBLISHED: 17:30 03 February 2017

Emma and Pauline.

Emma and Pauline.


A grandmother who had her hair shaved off in front of 40 people at Royston’s parish church said the whole experience was ‘absolutely wonderful’.

Phil Huntley took hold of the clippers for Pauline's head shave.Phil Huntley took hold of the clippers for Pauline's head shave.

Pauline Cockerill parted with her locks in support of her daughter Emma, who is undergoing treatment for breast cancer at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.

“It went really well,” Pauline said. “Rev Heidi Huntley’s husband Phil did the shaving and he held his nerve – we had 40 people watching as well! It was absolutely wonderful.”

The idea came about when daughter Emma Thompson, 38, was diagnosed with the disease for the second time, and Pauline orginally said in jest she would get her head shaved.

But then the notion quickly became a more serious idea, and she said she woke up on Saturday feeling ‘nervous’.

Pauline Cockerill, centre, with daughter Emma and grandson Luke, and Phil and Rev Heidi Huntley.Pauline Cockerill, centre, with daughter Emma and grandson Luke, and Phil and Rev Heidi Huntley.

“I thought this is the morning I lose my hair, it was a very weird feeling,” she told the Crow.

“First of all I had my hair put in a pony tail and had that chopped off, then all my hair. I felt very exposed.”

Pauline moved to Royston 40 years ago and has been a member of the church for 20 years. As well as daughter Emma, she has a son who lives further afield.

Emma, who lives in Cambs, went along with five-year-old son Luke to see Pauline brave the shave.

Pauline lost her husband 11 years ago to cancer, so said the whole day was a ‘very emotional time’.

She added: “Everyone, especially Emma, is so proud of me, and we’ve been absolutely astounded by the support. It is overwhelming.

“It was really emotional. At first Luke didn’t want to look at me because it brought back memories of when his dad had to shave his mum’s hair, but he was OK after that.”

Pauline has raised £2,000 for Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust’s breast cancer appeal, which supports the hospital where Emma’s treatment is based.

She said that now she doesn’t have hair she does feel the chill more, but has a nice woolly hat to see her through the cold months.

If you wish to donate go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Pauline-Cockerill. And for more on Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust go to the website www.act4addenbrookes.org.uk/

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