Coventry teen shaves head in support of UHCW

Conor McGuire, from Wyken, has raised more than £500 for the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire Charity in less than a week.

A Coventry College student has shaved his head to help the NHS fund orders for much-needed personal protection equipment in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Conor McGuire, from Wyken, has raised more than £500 for the University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire (UHCW) Charity in less than a week after his fundraising challenge was shared more than 200 times on social media.

The money will go on to fund vital equipment – such as masks and gloves – that enables doctors to operate safely on the front-line during their efforts to treat COVID-19 patients in Coventry and save lives.

The 17-year-old has had a glimpse into front-line hospital life during his time working as a part-time cleaner at UHCW, where he has tripled his hours in recent weeks to meet demand.

“I work all over the hospital, so I see some of the amazing work that all of the staff do under challenging circumstances, and I began thinking of what I could do to go that extra mile”, said Conor, who is juggling his work at UHCW with his plumbing course at Coventry College.

“I have always had long hair but had been thinking of shaving my head for a while, so thought now was the perfect time to do it so that the hospital could also benefit.

“I’ve seen nurses, doctors, porters and cleaners at the hospital go through thousands of masks in one day, so I wanted to ensure that the money I donate goes towards this effort to pay for more masks, gloves and other equipment. 

“From the moment I posted online what I was going to do, the level of response has been unbelievable, and after a few days, I had already reached my fundraising target.

“It wasn’t long before I had my dad shaving my head, and my mum live-streaming the moment on social media, so everyone could see that the deed had been done!

“The money that is donated via my Go Fund Me page goes straight to the hospital’s charity so that they can benefit from the money as soon as possible, and even though I’ve reached the target I’m keeping it open so that others can donate if they wish.”

Gemma Knott, Assistant Principal at Coventry College, spoke of her pride at Conor’s gesture.

“It’s fantastic seeing Conor going above and beyond to make a difference in what are challenging and unsettling times for us all at the moment”, she said.

“While it’s important that our students carry on with home study, we are equally encouraging them to support the national effort in combating COVID-19 if it is safe for them to do so – whether that is volunteering, fundraising or simply following the government guidance.

“We’re all really proud of Conor, and if anyone is able to donate to his fundraising drive, then please do!”

For more information about Conor’s fundraising drive, visit his Go Fund Me page.