Officer makes arresting case for a haircut as he embarks on fundraiser
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England were dumped out of the World Cup in Brazil, David Cameron was the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson was aiming to continue as Mayor of London – and PC Rich Lymer had started to grow his hair.
Now seven years later the road policing officer is preparing to say farewell to his iconic long locks to help support breast cancer sufferers after seeing a number of his brave colleagues battle the illness.
The 39-year-old’s hair is currently around 20 inches in length and travels a good distance from his shoulder blades meaning while policing the county’s roads the Moorlands-born officer ties it up into a bun.
And his long hair, bushy beard, and appearances on a fly-on-the-wall documentary series means Rich, who was part of the neighbourhood team in Uttoxeter for 17 years, is often recognised.
But next month his hair will not only be cut – but fully shaved off – as he aims to raise hundreds for the Stafford-based Katharine House Hospice, the StrongMen charity – which helps men cope with bereavement, and Mummy’s Star – a charity which supports women diagnosed with cancer during pregnancy or within 12 months of giving birth.
Rich, who insists his beard will be saved from the chop, said: “Three of my colleagues from different areas of Staffordshire Police have been diagnosed with breast cancer and are at various points in their treatment phases. I have also had family and friends who have been affected by the illness and I just want to do something to help.
“I approached the three of them and asked where they would like the money raised to go and they came back with a really broad mix.”
It was back in March 2014 that Rich ditched being clean shaven with a traditional short-back-and-sides haircut for an altogether different look. He said: “I have never had it cut since then, the only thing that has been done is the ends taken off.
“I will be keeping the beard or I would probably look about three years old!”
Rich, who is part of Staffordshire Police’s Road Policing Unit, launched a JustGiving page at the weekend and already well-wishers have helped him sail past his original target. He said: “I can’t believe the amount that has been raised already and I am so grateful.
“The aim is to have my hair shaved on May 22 and I would just ask people to keep donating to help these amazing charities.”
Chief Inspector Mat Derrick said: “Rich’s hair and beard are very recognisable and I know how much they mean to him! It’s great to see one of the team raising money for charity in this way and it will be strange to see him with no hair!”
Rich is also hoping to donate his long locks to a suitable charity who help make wigs for those who have undergone treatment. He said: “If my hair can be used to help out then that would be great.”