Comedian Joey Blower has raised almost £150,000 for charity by encouraging people to shave their heads.
The Blackpool-based comedian, whose real name is Mike Simmons, has been encouraging random people and his audiences at North Pier’s Merrie England bar to get on stage and shave their head for Cancer Research UK for the past 10 years.
And recently he was presented with a certificate from Cancer Research UK for his efforts revealing he has helped raise £146,515 to date.
Speaking about his fundraising Mike said: “It all started in 2006. I was on stage and a man with a comb-over was in who was a regular. I remembered I had a set of barber’s clippers in my car so I said I was going to shave his hair off and he replied saying I could if it was for charity, so right there and then it became a regular weekly part of the show.
“I reckon more than 1,400 people have done it for me over the years including boxer Ricky Hatton. It’s really very simple, I get people up on stage when I’m performing and we then pass a bucket around asking for donations.
“I have to admit I was surprised when I discovered so much money had been raised over the years but I’m absolutely delighted.
This is an incredible amount of money for one individual to have raised and to have done it through something so simple is brilliant
“When I started doing this I knew very few people who had cancer but now that has changed and I know a lot more.
“Unfortunately, I feel everyone is affected by someone suffering from cancer at some point in their lives and they can relate to those people losing their hair. Cancer Research UK is a fantastic charity and if I can help by raising money in this way then that is brilliant and hopefully it helps by not just raising money, but awareness as well.”
And Mike says the fundraising is not going to stop. He now plans to carry on with the head shaves to continue to raise money for the national charity.
Cancer Research UK Lancashire local fundraising manager, Natasha Patel, said: “We would like to say a huge thank you to Joey Blower for his fabulous fundraising efforts. He has helped to raise a tremendous amount of money. Cancer Research UK receives no Government funding and relies entirely on the generosity and dedication of supporters such as Joey.”
Winter Gardens Managing Director Michael Williams is a friend of Mike’s and praised his relentless efforts.
He said: “This is an incredible amount of money for one individual to have raised and to have done it through something so simple is brilliant.
“When he asks you to do something like this you really can’t say no and the amount raised clearly shows that people want to help.
“Not only has he raised the funds in the Merrie but he also supports other organisations and charities by compering events and acting as auctioneer at a number of fundraisers.”