A CUMBRIAN nurse has found a new way to help people - raising money for charity by shaving her head.

Chris Mitchell-Jeffreys, 57, had her bright red hair shaved off on Saturday to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

The senior staff nurse, who works in the Cumberland Infirmary’s emergency admissions surgery unit, has raised close to £3,000 in just one week, thanks in part to a video of the event attracting attention on social media.

Chris committed to the head shaving fundraiser six months ago, but was not prepared for just how drastic the change would be.

“It was quite a hard thing to do”, said Chris, originally from Penrith. “I’ve had dyed red hair for 20 years, now I’m now bald and grey. It’s a massive change.

Taking place at the Creighton Rugby Club in Carlisle, who also gave a sizeable donation to Chris’ efforts, the charity event on Saturday was attended by 140 friends and family of Chris and her wife Jennie.

“I couldn’t believe the number of people who turned up,” Chris said.

“Everybody’s been amazing. All my colleagues, friends and family have been so supportive. Nobody expected it to get this big.

“People are watching the video online and donating, or seeing me at the gym and donating.”

Chris said that she became quite emotional when the two hairdressers from Chapel Hair Salon in Carlisle began to shave her head.

“It really was quite hard,” she said. “I broke down when it was being done, but I didn’t feel regret, I never thought it was a mistake.

“I just felt pure shock. All I could see was all the red hair falling on the floor.

“Because I was crying, all my friends and family were crying.

“The DJ was counting down, it was all happening to the sound of Things Can Only Get Better.”

Having been a nurse for 38 years, Chris is no stranger to worthwhile causes.

“The money that’s been raised for Cancer Research makes it all feel worthwhile,” she said.

“If we don’t do the research, we can’t cure the cancer. That’s why I did it, to try and give a little bit back.”

As well as the main event, guests at the Saturday charity night were treated to a raffle, with prizes donated from a wide selection of local businesses large and small.

Now Chris has gotten over the shock of her drastic hairstyle change, she is considering sticking to the new look.

“Everyone has said they think it suits me, they say I look like Sinéad O’Connor,” Chris said.

“I might keep the short hair now, but perhaps not quite as short.”