Hundreds raised for charity as the beard gets the shave

Danny Ryan grew his beard for a year and had it shaved off on New Year's Day to raise money for Aoife's Type 1 Diabetes Charity Fund
Danny Ryan grew his beard for a year and had it shaved off on New Year's Day to raise money for Aoife's Type 1 Diabetes Charity Fund

A year of fundraising kicked off on New Years Day with a beard shave at Lewsey Football Club.

Aoife’s Type 1 Diabetes Charity Fund aims to raise money to buy insulin pumps for children in Luton who have Type 1 Diabetes,

Danny Ryan grew his beard for a year and had it shaved off on New Year's Day to raise money for Aoife's Type 1 Diabetes Charity Fund

Danny Ryan grew his beard for a year and had it shaved off on New Year's Day to raise money for Aoife's Type 1 Diabetes Charity Fund

The fund was set up by Aoife Abbott’s family after she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in December 2014.

The 5-year-old, of Dunstable, has an insulin pump which calculates how much insulin her body needs.

The family want to buy insulin pumps and equipment for children who may not meet the national criteria.

Liz O’Reilly, Aoife’s grandmother, said: “It was devastating when we found out she had Type 1 Diabetes, it is life changing and there is no cure.

“The insulin pump, which can cost around £3,500 per pump, has helped and she does not have to inject herself now.

“We set up the charity to raise money to try and buy as many pumps as possible.

“We will be fundraising all year and have lots of events planned, we have received a lot of support from local businesses and we are very grateful.”

A spokesperson for Luton Borough council said: “Luton CCG routinely funds insulin pumps in children where the patient meets national criteria (as in the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence (NICE) Technology Appraisal 151).

“Where a clinician wishes to prescribe an insulin pump for a child who does not meet the nationally set criteria then the clinician may put in an individual funding request putting forward a case for exceptionality.

“Luton CCG has only one record of an individual funding request for an insulin pump in a child and this request was approved.”

The first event of the year for the charity raised £650, Danny Ryan grew his beard for a year and had it shaved off by a barber from Studio 10 on Friday, January 1.

Siorcha Abbott, Aoife’s mum, said: “It was such a great day, the £650 does not include any of the sponsorship money.

“We are so grateful to everyone who donated, it was a great turn out, such a good show of community spirit.

“We have everything we need for Aoife but we want to get insulin pumps and equipment for children who may not be able to get them.”