A teacher marked her retirement by shaving her head in front of hundreds of pupils for charity in memory of her brother.
Casterton Business and Enterprise College teacher Patsy Burke, 59, who lives in Stamford, took to the stage at school on Friday last week to have her locks shorn in a bid to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Patsy decided to undertake the brave challenge in memory of her brother John Burke, who lost his battle with leukaemia in August 2005, and so far she has raised about £1,500 for the charity.
She said: “You have to stay positive in this life and be grateful for the lives that once were.”
Patsy is part of the school’s Red House, which has chosen Cancer Research UK as its charity of the year.
Patsy’s son Dave Form was the inspiration behind the headshave as he underwent the same challenge during a visit to Connecticut for a children’s cancer charity.
Speaking before her headshave, she said: “I feel overwhelmed and slightly numb, from the unbelievable messages I have received from friends and family, the students and the whole community of Casterton.
“My son Dave has inspired me to do this and I wanted something special to leave on for my retirement, this is my swan song.”
Patsy will leave the school on July 19, after beginning her career back in 1978. She has worked at Casterton since 2003 and said she will be sad to leave as she considers colleagues and pupils alike to be family.
Patsy’s loyal hairdresser Andy Abbotts, from Boomerangz Hair Design, Stamford, took on the important role of cutting her hair.
He said: “I think it’s outrageous what she’s done for charity and the amount she has raised so far. I was quite shocked when she told me she wanted to do this but I was more than up for doing it.”
The whole school filled the hall to watch, along with former pupils who were invited to support Patsy.
Patsy’s daughter, Gina Form, a music teacher at the school was also there to support her brave mother.
Speaking after the headshave, Patsy said: “I’m absolutely exhilarated! The whole thing has been amazing, I feel liberated and free.
“It’s absolutely the most awesome thing I have done in my career and it represents everything I do as a teacher.”
Pupils were thrilled watching Patsy’s antics.
Eleanor Smith, 16, said: “She’s an inspiration to everybody. She’s one of the best teachers in the school and everyone is going to miss her.”
And Katie Tyler, 16, added: “She’s one of the most enthusiastic teachers and she’s got everyone else excited for what she’s done.”
You can still sponsor Patsy by visiting www.justgiving.com/Patsy-Burke