4 months, 1 man, 1 giant beard

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A DOG handler at the Mount Prison in Bovingdon grew his beard for four months – without even a trim – in the name of charity.

Tom Sweetland, 33, was challenged by a colleague at the prison to grow his beard for the set period of time and ended up raising more than £900.

After reading about the Hospice of St Francis’ financial plight in the Gazette Tom decided to donate the money to the needy cause.

He was aided by a colleague at the prison, security manager Dave Reader, who sorted out Tom’s sponsorship and collected the funds.

Tom said: “It was the first time I’d done it and I don’t know if I’d do it again.

“It was massive in the end, and I really didn’t like it.

“After around three months I was tempted to shave it off but I know I only had one month to go.

“My wife didn’t like it at all but she was very supportive of the cause and my baby son was actually upset to see it go as he had got used to it.”

Tom and Dave popped into the hospice earlier this month to drop off the large cash donation.

In a message posted on Facebook the hospice said: “Thank you so much Tom, Dave and everyone at The Mount for supporting The Hospice of St Francis at a time when every penny is so vital to us.”