Carnforth teen who grew hair for three years raises £8,500 in grandad’s memory

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A Carnforth teenager who stood up to bullies while growing his hair for charity is to finally have his locks shaved off.

Matt Roberts has been growing his hair for more than three years to benefit two charities.

The 15-year-old decided to carry out the challenge in memory of his grandad, and has so far raised almost £8,500 for Help for Heroes.

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His hair will also go towards making a wig for a child undergoing cancer treatment.

Matt Roberts will have his head shaved on December 10.Matt Roberts will have his head shaved on December 10.
Matt Roberts will have his head shaved on December 10.

This is the second time Matt has swerved the scissors in aid of the Little Princess Trust – last time he grew his hair for two years.

When Matt’s grandad, Ken Debnam - known as ‘Pop Pop’ - was ill and later died from lung cancer, he wanted to do his bit to help.

Matt said: “It has been difficult at times, I’ve been bullied – called names and physically bullied – but I was determined to never give up.

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“From behind, some people think I’m a girl, so I use that as a chance to explain what I’m doing and why, and I usually got a donation out of it too.”

Matt’s hairdresser mum, Nicole Debnam, will shave his head on Sunday December 10.

It will take place at 2.30pm as part of a Christmas crafts fayre at the legion opposite Aldi in Carnforth.

The fayre is open from 10.30am until 4pm and includes a raffle, tombola, cake stall and refreshments, as well as various crafts stalls.

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Matt, who is in Year 11 at Carnforth High School, added: “My ‘Pop Pop’ was a Sergeant Major in the Prince of Wales’s Own regiment and served for 22 years. I was very close to my him and he would tell me lots of war stories.

“I also have an uncle who served in the Army who suffers with PTSD. We’ve been a military family for generations, so I wanted to raise awareness to help veterans and their families thrive after service."

Help for Heroes supports veterans from any branch of the UK military, irrespective of length or place of service and provides support for people when they’re managing their physical and mental health, as well as their welfare and social needs.

To help Matt with his fundraising, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/N-DEBNAM