Banbury area woman takes part in head shave challenge for hospice charity

A Banbury area woman has raised nearly £300 for Helen & Douglas House hospice by having her hair shaved off in her garden.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:09 pm
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 4:10 pm
Rachel Jarrett, from Middleton Cheney, has raised £295 for Helen & Douglas House, by having her hair shaved off by Nathan, aged 9, who is cared for by the children’s hospice. (submitted photo)
Rachel Jarrett, from Middleton Cheney, has raised £295 for Helen & Douglas House, by having her hair shaved off by Nathan, aged 9, who is cared for by the children’s hospice. (submitted photo)

Rachel Jarrett, from Middleton Cheney, has raised £295 for Helen & Douglas House, by having her hair shaved off on Saturday June 19 in her garden by Nathan, aged 9, who is cared for by the children’s hospice.

Nathan Best, who also lives in Middleton Cheney, was born with Prader Willi syndrome, a rare genetic life-limiting condition, which causes a range of symptoms and he has been coming to Helen & Douglas House for nine years for respite care. Nathan has low muscle tone and balance issues, which means he often needs his frame to walk, or a wheelchair on bad days and he is also fed through a tube.

During his first year, it was easier for mum, Jenny, to cope with his complex needs. But, as he got older, and his physical symptoms increased, a local nurse could see signs that Jenny was starting to struggle as his primary carer. And, as a mother with three other children to look after, she was heading towards exhaustion. This is when she was referred to Helen & Douglas House Children’s Hospice.

Rachel Jarrett, from Middleton Cheney, had her head shaved in a fundraising challenge for Helen & Douglas House (submitted image from the hospice)

Jenny said: "The head shave was an amazing experience for Nathan. Another lovely memory for us.

"Rachel is a dear friend and what she did was amazing for Helen & Douglas House in Nathan's name. Nathan was a bit anxious at first and needed reassurance that it was OK. Then he was off and he laughed all the way through it.

"Nathan tells me that Helen & Douglas House is his favourite place in the world. Aside from the exceptional one-to-one care they give him, he is often found singing, taking part in craft sessions, kicking about a football in the garden and even baking, which is made possible by the specialist facilities they have for disabled children.

"Thanks to the support from Helen & Douglas House he is often seen at the hospice with a huge smile plastered across his face and is very reluctant to come home!"

Before the big head shave challenge image of Rachel Jarrett, from Middleton Cheney, who took part in a fundraising challenge for Helen & Douglas House (submitted image from the hospice)

Rachel said: "I would like to raise £500 for the wonderful charity. Some of you will already know, but for those who don't... we have a lovely boy in our village called Nathan, that calls Helen & Douglas House his favourite place."

If you would like to make a donation to Helen & Douglas House, you can sponsor Rachel by going to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Rachel-Jarrett4Rachel added: "Nathan goes there for respite care. It's a place that his mum and dad know he's safe and it gives them time to rest, and recharge their batteries. Nathan has two older sisters and an older brother that also help take care of him. The family is an extremely tight unit supporting each other. They are an inspiration to all of us. I've been lucky enough to watch Nathan grow, and he's an amazing young lad with an amazing family."