AN auntie had her head shaved last week in support of her niece, Gracie.

Christine Harper and her neighbour, Carol Bridgeman, from Chard, both lost their locks last week and raised more than £600 for charity.

Gracie has ataxia telangiectasia, a rare inherited disorder that affects the nervous and immune system. Gracie and her family are given respite support by CHSW’s Little Bridge House hospice in Devon.

And so Christine decided she wanted to raise money for CHSW to thank them for the support they give to Gracie.

"I wanted to do something to help the children’s hospice as I have been so impressed by the care and support that they give to Gracie and our family," said Christine.

Somerset County Gazette: BRAVE: Christine after the headshave

The sponsored headshave took place at The Choughs Hotel in Chard on January 7.

Caroline from Sizztors in Chard shaved the pair's heads, and niece Gracie came along to support.

So far, the pair have raised £671 for CHSW, but there is still time to donate by visiting

Emma Parker, CHSW area fundraiser, also attended the event to share her support and said it was a 'pleasure' to cheer on the pair.

Somerset County Gazette: STAR: Gracie was there to support

“Well done and thank you to Christine and Carol for braving the shave," she said.

"Thank you to everyone who has donated so far and to all the team at the Chough’s Hotel for their support.

"Half of the money raised will go towards replacing Gracie’s broken lounge chair, and the other half the family will kindly donate to Little Bridge House, which has supported the family for over 10 years.

"We are ever so grateful for Carol, Christine and Gracie’s families help and encourage people to support their special cause.”

CHSW was first registered with the charity commission in 1991 and celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2021. The charity provides hospice care to life-limited children and their families.

There are three hospices in the South West: Little Bridge House in Barnstaple (opened 1995), Charlton Farm in Bristol (opened 2007) and Little Harbour in St Austell (opened 2011).

It costs around £11million to run the three hospice sites each year and the charity relies almost entirely on voluntary contributions.

To find out more about their work, visit