Retired postman from Penwortham braves the shave ahead of chemotherapy

Posted on - 24th April, 2022 - 12:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Penwortham, Preston News, South Ribble News
Ray Atkinson after the shave.

A former postman has had his beard and head shaved to raise money for two charities.


Ray Atkinson from Penwortham raised £4,451.12 Rosemere Cancer Foundation and the Communication Workers Union Humanitarian Aid charity (the CWUHA).

Ray is a trustee and volunteer for the CWUHA and after being told the chemotherapy treatment he is starting later in April for oesophageal cancer at Rosemere Cancer Centre is likely to cause hair loss, he decided to brave the shave for charity.

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Ray, who worked as a postman for more than 30 years before becoming a project worker in the union’s education and training department, said: “I shaved my head in 1993 to raise money for Age Concern and since then, apart from trims to style, I had been growing my hair so it was past my shoulders.

“I was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer last Christmas Eve and I will shortly start five weeks of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

“The staff at Rosemere Cancer Centre have been superb. They have my utmost admiration. They have answered all my and my wife Liz’s questions, which included one on whether I might lose my hair and when I was told it was likely, I decided I would rather shave it for charity.”

Ray’s former barber Geoff Green came out of retirement to do the honours at the union’s Garstang Road offices. Ray has a son and a daughter and six grandchildren aged between 11 and 29-years-old who, along with Liz, have been very supportive.

The shave was filmed and shared with all the branches of the CWUHA and Ray received lots of donations from across the country.

Currently the CWUHA is supporting Ukraine relief efforts and as a volunteer, Ray, who retired in 2018 after recovering from prostate cancer, has been part of past CWUHA aid convoys to Eastern Europe, including Ukraine, and to Tanzania in Africa. (

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