AUSTRALIA Day activities won’t just involve a barbecue and drinks for local Jimmy Ladgrove, who will be shaving goodbye to his beard after five years.
The 28 year old has returned for the summer after four years in the United Kingdom to work at his family owned and operated pub, The Vine Hotel, and raise money and awareness for men’s health with his big beard shave.
“The beard was always going to come off for charity it was just a matter of time,” he said.
“It’s coming up to five years since I started to grow it, and it will also be 10 years since my friend took his own life in Albury.
“Now we’re connected more than ever and I’m hearing a lot of reports about the alarming rate of suicides in Australia, especially on the border.
“These deaths don’t just affect small communities now, they can ripple across the world instantly with people more than ever sharing their grief and searching for help online.
“In my travels over the years I’ve met a lot of men struggling with their mental health and I believe now is the time for me to be part of a change and raise awareness.
“I’ve made the most of my whiskers creating a following of thousands on my social media while taking part in four reality shows in the UK and my beard fans and family were shocked at my announcement, but what’s really shocking to me is the alarming rate of men struggling with their mental health.”
Jimmy’s shave is aiming to raise awareness and get people talking.
“I’d like to be an example that whatever you’re going through you can start clean, whether that be moving to a new country or city, taking the leap of faith and changing career paths, or simply choosing to grow a beard,” he said.
“The funds raised will go to tackling men’s health on a global scale, which includes improving mental health for men and boys in rural and remote Australia.
“This is important to me because I have my father, three brothers and seven nephews living on the border and I’d like them to be a part of a healthy, resilient community.
“I’d like to do what I can to reduce the stigma and improve the understanding of mental health problems.”
The great shear off will be at The Vine Hotel on Australia Day at 3pm with the shave set for 5pm and a $5000 fundraising goal.
Jimmy has already sold over 100 tickets at $10 for the event, get yours at https://www.facebook.com/ events/2051626831561547/ or http://www.trybooking. com/458001, or to donate, go to https://uk.movember.com/ mospace/13908970.