A BARMAID has braved the shave in memory of a family which had a close connection to a cancer hospital.

Shani Williams, who works behind the bar at the Mort Arms pub in Tyldesley, felt she had to to something to raise money for a charity dedicated to fighting the disease.

The 46 year-old took the radical step of shaving off her shoulder length hair – and has netted over £2,600 for the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

Leigh Journal:

Shani before her haircut

Mum-of-one Shani said: “I know so many people affected by cancer, including my grandma, aunt and step-grandad.

"It only occurred to me after I`d done it that for people going through chemotherapy, losing their hair can be such a hard part of the treatment.

"So it made it doubly relevant to do this."

Shani's boyfriend, John Ratchford, 46, was so impressed by her decision that he shaved his own head in support as well.

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Shani was particularly keen to raise money for the Christie as the Mort Arms is part of the Joseph Holt Brewery, which has a long history with the world famous cancer hospital.

The connection dates back to 1914 when Sir Edward Holt, son of founder Joseph Holt, donated the first £20,000 to help fund a new laboratory studying the use of radium to treat cancer.

Shani raised £1,610 through her own fund raising while the Christie generated a further £1,006.02 from collections at the pub.

Her hair was shaved at the Elliott Street pub by Shani`s hairdresser, while landlady Vicki Wrigley turned the occasion into an event with a live band and raffle.

“We are just so proud of Shani,” said Vicki.

“It was such a brave thing to do.”

Having shaved her head, Shani is now considering whether to keep her hair so short permanently.

“It`s so easy – I feel liberated not having to wash my hair.

"I can just get out of the shower and go.”

“I know it sounds like an extreme thing to do but I`m just so glad I did something to help raise money for this important cause.”