Ashley’s head shaved by Oli, 15

October 5th, 2017


AN outreach support worker from Spectrum had his head shaved to mark his late mother’s birthday on Sunday – with one of the teenagers he supports wielding the razor.

Ashley Cooper, 28, lost his mum Karen to cancer in August last year and decided to Brave the Shave in aid of the Macmillan nurses who looked after her.

But instead of visiting a barber, Ashley asked 15-year-old Oli, one of the autistic teenagers he supports in his outreach job for Spectrum.

“I trust Oli and he’s more than capable, so I thought it would be nice to get him involved,” said Ashley, who lives in Grampound Road. “He was really up for doing it, although I think he was quite nervous on the day.”

Ashley had his head shaved on Sunday, October 1, which would have been his mum’s 52nd birthday, at Three Bridges School near Blackwater.

“I think mum would be proud of me,” said Ashley. “Shaving my head was a big thing for me, so I think she’d joking about saving money on shampoo.”

So far, Ashley has raised more than £150 for Macmillan Cancer Support, with donations still coming in.

Oli’s mum Sharron said: “He has a special relationship with Ashley, so it was a wonderful thing for him to ask Oli to be involved. He gets very anxious when he has his own hair cut, but he really wanted to do it for Ash.

“Oli goes out with Ash twice a week and they do things like bike riding, fishing and den building together. It really is the only social time he has.”

Spectrum’s Outreach Support team get involved in many good causes and fun activities. They are a fully trained, dedicated team of outreach support service workers with a wide variety of skills, talents and qualifications ranging from photographers, musicians, artists, Duke of Edinburgh trainers and Asdan Award Assessors.