Bearded teachers ‘brave the shave’ to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust

Liverpool Life Sciences UTC

Liverpool Life Sciences University Technical College (UTC) offers a new concept in education. It gives 14-19 year olds the opportunity to take a highly-regarded, full-time, professionally-oriented programme of study specialising in either Science or Health. Responding to growing demands from the sector for well-educated, high-calibre employees and apprentices, the College combines hand and mind to integrate national curriculum requirements with technical and practical elements. The UTC brings together the University of Liverpool, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust and major local employers like Novartis, Redx Pharma, Actavis and Pro-Lab Diagnostics.

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Teachers at a school specialising in Science and Health Care for 14 to 19-year olds sacrificed their beards In December to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust. Liverpool Life Sciences UTC has been supporting the charity after one of their students endured a long and difficult struggle with cancer.

Just before Shannon Thompson was due to start chemotherapy, her friends at the Baltic Triangle school stepped forward and volunteered to shave their heads, raising over £2000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust in the process. At the end of 2015, teachers at the school also joined the cause by having their beards shaved off in front of students by a team of barbers. They raised over £1000 on the morning, and donations continue to come in through their JustGiving page.


Shannon, with and without her wig.

“Seeing so many staff and students coming together in honour of everything I’ve been through was just utterly overwhelming,” said Shannon. “There was so much energy and enthusiasm in the room while the teachers were having their beards shaved, with everyone laughing and reaching deep into their pockets to support the Teenage Cancer Trust.
“The past six months have been tough, there’s no denying that, but I’ve managed to remain upbeat and positive throughout it all. Being able to maintain this attitude has been invaluable, and really helped me through everything. It goes without saying that I couldn’t have kept my chin up so well if it wasn’t for my family, my friends at the UTC, and the ongoing support of the staff. Time and time again they’ve shown me that they are by my side.”


Pupils watch the de-bearding.


Liverpool Life Sciences UTC is a new concept in education for those aged 14-19. Working in partnership with universities, laboratories and hospitals in the north-west, they offer a full-time course of specialist study in science and health.

Vice principal Ian Parry said: “Shannon’s attitude during her journey through cancer treatment has been inspiring. She remained positive throughout the entire process, and point blank refused to let her illness take away her personality, her optimism, and everything else that makes her who she is.
“I’m thrilled at how readily our students flocked to support her, and how they all agreed to shave their heads without any second thoughts. Inspired by that, myself and my bearded colleagues agreed to get together and follow in their footsteps.”

As of writing, the JustGiving page is boasting £485. When it passes £500, assistant principal Mr Walker will adopt a “full glitter beard”. If the amount reaches £1000, he will say goodbye to his goatee!

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