Cleadon woman smashes fundraising target with charity hair cut for Cancer Connections

A woman has smashed her fundraising target in sponsored a hair cut which removed her waist-length locks – and is set to almost double the figure she hoped to raise.

Jane Mills underwent the crop to raise money for the South Shields charity Cancer Connections. She had aimed for £700, which is the cost of a wig to a cancer sufferer who has lost their hair.

However, the latest total raised stands at £1,350, which Jane says is “not bad for a hair cut”.

Jane, an acupuncturist and homeopath, was inspired to help out by the memory of her friend Jean Bruce. Jean, a former nurse at South Tyneside Hospital, was widowed as a young mother when she lost her husband Jeff to cancer. He was only in his 40s.

Jane Mills with the 13 inches of hair she gave up for charity at The Hairdresser on the Corner.

Years later, in January 2011, Jean’s son Steven also lost his life to cancer. He left a wife and two small children. He was only 40 years old.

But before he died Steven raised an incredible £50,000 for Cancer Connections. The charity meant a great deal to him.

Jean herself eventually succumbed to the disease aged 71; suddenly without warning on May 29, 2019. The cancer was only discovered in a post mortem. She outlived her mother Kathy, who passed away in 2021.

Jane has now taken the plunge and had 13 inches of hair removed by Sinead Clayton of The Hairdressers on the Corner on Stanhope Road.

How Jane's hair looked just before the cut.

This was quite a sacrifice, but Jane’s hair was in beautiful condition and sold to a wig manufacturer with the money also going to the charity.

With the £700 target well and truly met, she is now hoping to double that figure and is nudging ever closer to £1,400 for the Harton Lane Charity, which has Dame Margaret Barbour as its patron.

Jane is always willing to contribute to a worthy cause and was happy to lose her treasured hair. She is very grateful to everyone who has made a contribution so far.

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Jane said: “I’m indebted to everyone who has helped me to raise this money. It’s such a worthy cause. Jean was a very dear friend.”