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Bury St Edmunds Reverend Lesley Norburn raises nearly £5,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care with a new look as the charity celebrates milestone





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 from the Blackbourne Team ministry, in Bury St Edmunds, braved the shave at the town’s market on Wednesday.

She and Sharon Connell, head of chaplaincy services at St Nicholas Hospice Care, teamed up to raise money for the hospice.

Reverend Lesley Norburn raised nearly £5,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care by shaving her hair off. Picture: Keith Mindham
Reverend Lesley Norburn raised nearly £5,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care by shaving her hair off. Picture: Keith Mindham

The duo gained so much support that they had to keep increasing their fund-raising target and now they have reached nearly £5,000.

The hospice is close to Rev Norburn’s heart as her late father-in-law, Rev Canon Richard Norburn, founded it and her own father Harry died there 10 years ago.

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.

Reverend Norburn shaved her hair to mark the charity's 40th anniversary. Picture: Keith Mindham
Reverend Norburn shaved her hair to mark the charity's 40th anniversary. Picture: Keith Mindham

‘‘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.

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

Picture: Keith Mindham
Picture: Keith Mindham

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

George Chilvers, St Nicholas Hospice Care’s community fund-raising manager, added: “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 fund-raising 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.

The hospice is close to Rev Norburn's heart as her father-in-law, Rev Canon Richard Norburn, founded it. Picture: St Nicholas Hospice
The hospice is close to Rev Norburn's heart as her father-in-law, Rev Canon Richard Norburn, founded it. Picture: St Nicholas Hospice

“Both Sharon and Lesley have such strong connections to the charity, Sharon as our head of chaplaincy services and Lesley as the daughter-in-law of our founder Richard.

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

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