Dinner lady Elaine Townes proved she was a cut above after cooking up a hair-raising idea to raise cash for a children’s cancer charity.
Great-grandmother Elaine shaved her head at the Leeds General Infirmary, where she has been a dinner lady for seven years.
Elaine, 56, was inspired to raise money for the Candlelighters charity, which is based at the hospital, after serving up meals to hundreds of children undergoing cancer treatment.
She said: “They are truly amazing people and I take my hat off to every single one of them.
“They are one in a million and every one of them has been through so much.
“I can leave it behind when I leave work but they have to go through it for months, sometimes years.”
Elaine, who lives near Oakwood, took on the fundraiser after being challenged by a teenager at Candlelighters who had to have her hair shaved off at the age of 16.
She added: “I see the kids every day – I’m like a dinner lady and childminder and entertainer!
“What those children go through is amazing.
“One of the young boys helped shave my hair off and he said, ‘Be brave’.
“I thought, ‘This child is going through cancer and he is telling me to be brave’! I’m only having my head shaved!
“They are beautiful kids and their families are so lovely too.
“It is really nice to do something to help.”
Speaking about her new hairstyle, Elaine said: “The kids love it but my family all think I’m crazy.
“People keep saying I am brave but I’m not. It’s just hair and it will grow back.
“The charity does so much good stuff and they need funding so anything that anybody can do helps.”
Elaine also took on a skydive last year for the charity, raising around £800.
She added: “The kids have got lots of suggestions for my next fundraiser, from swimming with sharks to sitting in a bath full of maggots.
“But I’ll have to have a think.”
Eve Corry, fundraising assistant at Candlelighters, said: “Elaine is an absolute star.
“She has doubled her fundraising target of £250, raising over £500.
“Candlelighters charity funds various roles to support our families.
“Every penny we spend supports children with cancer in Yorkshire and this amount will fund a week’s holiday away for a family during treatment.”
She added: “We’re very proud of her.”
To sponsor Elaine, visit www.justgiving.com/ElainesHeadShave