A priest has raised thousands of pounds for a Suffolk hospice’s 40th anniversary after having her long hair cut off.

Lesley Norburn, assistant priest with the Blackbourne Team ministry at Bury St Edmunds, braved the shave in Bury’s Market Place last week (15 May).

East Anglian Daily Times: To lose her crowning glory was 'quite scary', says LesleyTo lose her crowning glory was 'quite scary', says Lesley (Image: Keith Mindham)

She and Sharon Connell, Head of Chaplaincy Services at St Nicholas Hospice, teamed up to raise money for the hospice through a joint fundraising event.

The duo gained so much support that they had to keep raising their fundraising target and now they have raised about £5,000.

The Hospice is close to Revd Norburn’s heart as her late father in law, Revd Canon Richard Norburn, founded it and her own father Harry died peacefully there 10 years ago on their 30th anniversary.

East Anglian Daily Times: St Nicholas Hospice was founded by Lesley's late father in law, Canon Richard NorburnSt Nicholas Hospice was founded by Lesley's late father in law, Canon Richard Norburn (Image: Keith Mindham)

Revd Norburn said: ‘‘To willingly lose your “crown of glory” is quite a scary thing, but Sharon and myself were spurred on by the very kind encouragement and support by so many people who pledged donations.

‘‘My hair will be donated to Little Lady Locks who provide free real hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions. 

“So both St Nicholas Hospice and Little Lady Locks benefit.

East Anglian Daily Times: No more plaits for Lesley for a whileNo more plaits for Lesley for a while (Image: Keith Mindham)

‘‘It costs around £8 million to run St Nicholas Hospice Care each year. That’s equivalent to £22,000 per day. 

“Although the charity receives some statutory funding, which covers around 20% of their costs, they still need to generate a further £17,500 of income per day to be there for the people who need them.’’

St Nicholas Hospice Care’s community fundraising manager, George Chilvers, said: “We are incredibly grateful to both Lesley and Sharon for taking on such a brave challenge for us.

“As a charity we rely heavily on the generosity of our community and fundraising events like this one are vital to ensuring we can continue to raise the funds needed to support those across West Suffolk and Thetford facing dying, death, and grief.

“Both Sharon and Lesley have such strong connections to St Nic’s, Sharon as our Head of Chaplaincy Services and Lesley as the daughter-in-law of our founder Richard. 

“As St Nic’s celebrates 40 years of caring for the community, from the whole St Nic’s team, I’d like to thank them both.”

The pair’s online fundraising page is at https://www.justgiving.com/page/lesley-and-sharon-1711212834160