A HARRABY couple have braved the shave together in support of a mental health charity close to their hearts.

Claire Pope and her husband Chris took part in the daring challenge to mark World Mental Health Day last Thursday, of which the national Mental Health Awareness Week is a part.

The pair travelled to the Happy Mums Foundation headquarters in Carlisle for the haircut, with both donating their hair to the Little Princess Trust - a charity which provides wigs to children and teenagers with cancer and other conditions.

Claire said: “So I had the wacky idea of shaving my head to raise money for the Happy Mums Foundation in Carlisle., which I’ve been thinking about this for quite a while.

“What I didn’t expect though was that when I mentioned my idea to Chris he would turn around and say ‘I’ll do that too’.”

The duo set an initial target to raise £500 for the Happy Mums Foundation, which supports mums battling mental health issues in north Cumbria - but have since smashed their goal, collecting more than £1,400.

As a mum herself, Claire set the challenge after facing issues of her own earlier this year and wanted to give something back,

She added: “I’ve battled with depression on and off for many years, so statistically it would leave me more at risk of developing postnatal depression.

“Statistics are all well and good but, believe me, nothing can actually prepare you for how it feels when it hits you.

“The Happy Mums Foundation supported me both before and after my admission to a mother and baby unit at a psychiatric hospital in the north east.

“For a first-time mum in Carlisle the nearest mother and baby units are either 100 miles south in Chorley, or 70 miles east in Morpeth, which makes the decision to be admitted even more heart-wrenching than ever.”

Following her treatment, Claire has praised the work of those who helped her.

“The amazing staff on the Beadnell unit in Morpeth helped me see that light at the end of the tunnel, and with the support of The Happy Mums Foundation, me and Elsie are home and making great progress.

“The peer support groups led by Katherine and Amy are invaluable and the creche run by Kerry is a real lifeline.”

“The money raised will help their work carry on.

“Any donation, no matter how small, will ensure they can help more struggling families.”

n To make a donation towards the couple’s charity fundraiser, go online to: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/chris-and-claires-close-shave