On July 14th 2017 Mark Shopland shaved off his long standing beard, to raise funds for The Samantha Sykes Foundation Trust. What started off as a bit of fun soon escalated to personal challenge and Mark was “persuaded” to shave off half of his beard and go to work for one day sporting his designer look, people offered Mark two levels of sponsorship if he shaved off half of his beard. Mark had to keep his “half a beard” for one day & they would increase their sponsorship.
Mark had not pre planned anything and in just 4 days, with the help of Karelia Stanziola who helped Mark to get sponsors from around Borg Warner, he/they raised just over £400. Sometimes something spontaneous works better than pre planned events and this was certainly a good example of that. Mark has now removed all of his beard and some people have said he looked better with half a beard.
On a serious note Mark and everyone who sponsored Mark should be proud, as the funds raised will support an eleven year old boy, who is at risk of Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE). The young boy is in the care of the Local Authority, he has other issues apart from his problems with CSE, he is autistic and has Asperger’s Syndrome. We have had an enquiry for funding to support him with tuition and counselling, and although some funding is being provided by the Local Authority there is a deficiency of £400 for the cost of his requirements’. A family would normally be expected to fund that deficiency, but as this boy is in care of the Local Authority, he does not have family support. Without funding from this charity, through the funds Mark and his friends and colleagues raised, the young boy would miss out on the support that he needs. We are still working with the Local Authority and once everything is sorted the funds will be made available directly from the monies raised my Mark.
In the last twelve months with funds raised by people like Mark we have helped 32 young people, and although what we do is rewarding it also highlights just how many people need our help. This application is to help an eleven year old male, and is the youngest person we will have helped.