Rye man urges others to grow beards in aid of cancer charity

Richard Bingham is the face of Bowel Cancer UK's Decembeard campaign. Photo by Brendan Foster Photography. SUS-181019-134622001
Richard Bingham is the face of Bowel Cancer UK's Decembeard campaign. Photo by Brendan Foster Photography. SUS-181019-134622001

A Rye man who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in 2016 is the face of a national campaign urging men to grow a beard this December to raise money for charity.

Richard Bingham has pledged his support to Decembeard, which aims to get men across the UK raising cash for Bowel Cancer UK.

The idea is simple – men should clean shave on November 30 and let their facial hair grow throughout the month. Those that are already bearded can still get involved by dying, ditching or decorating their beard.

Raising awareness of bowel cancer is important to Richard as he was diagnosed with the disease in May 2016.

The 40-year-old Rye resident, who took part in Decembeard in 2017, said: “Decembeard is an easy yet hugely worthwhile fundraiser. It was a colleague of mine that had the idea of signing up.

“Others were quick to follow, and we soon had no fewer than nine of us forming a team and preparing to ditch the razor for a month.

“I already had a beard, so I shaved it off for the first time in nine years and started all over again.

“By the end of the month, there were some seriously shaggy beards. Between us we raised over £8,000 - both amazing and humbling in equal measure.

“I’m a committed supporter of Bowel Cancer UK. The information, support and advice provided by the charity has been utterly invaluable, especially in the early days when my wife and I were struggling to get our heads around the situation we suddenly found ourselves in. It was a steep learning curve, but they were there to help throughout.”

Bowel cancer is the third most common cancer in men in the UK and the nation’s second biggest cancer killer. However it shouldn’t be, as it’s treatable and curable, especially if diagnosed early.

For more information on the charity, Decembeard, or how you can support the cause, visit bowelcanceruk.org.uk/decembeard.