A hair-raising charity challenge by an ambitious Llandysul woman has so far raised more than £3,000 for Cancer Research Wales.

Gwen Reeves, community support worker at Canolfan Steffan in Lampeter, has shaved off her hair in support of Wales’ indigenous cancer charity.

On Monday March 3, 150 of Gwen’s friends, family and colleagues gathered at Canolfan Steffan to show support while hairdresser Rhian James did the honours.

Dedicated fundraiser Gwen said: “After losing my brother to cancer, I think it’s really important to increase people’s awareness and knowledge of this dreadful disease.

“My mum did a sponsored walk, and my uncle and his friends organised a tractor run, so I thought it was about time I got stuck into some fundraising too!

“I was diagnosed with alopecia last year, and since I’ve started losing my hair I decided shaving it off would be a great way to raise money for charity.”

As well as her charitable close shave, Gwen’s colleagues at Canolfan Steffan baked bara brith and welshcakes for a cake sale and helped her to organise a ‘best hat’ competition and a raffle.

Gwallt gwyllt gwen (Gwen’s wild hair) has already raised £3,122 for Cancer Research Wales, and she is hoping to raise even more.

Speaking about her fundraising, Gwen said: “Lots of people have said I’m very brave but I just think it’s a bit of fun - and it’s all for a really good cause.

“Cancer is a very cruel disease which strikes far too often, and hopefully one day soon we can stamp it out for good.”

When S4C Prynhawn Da presenter Yvonne Tywydd asked how she was feeling after the event, good-humoured Gwen replied “a little draughty”!

Gwen hopes to host more fundraising events in the future and is planning to take on even bigger charity challenges, such as swimming the English Channel.

Laura Hooper, Fundraising Manager for Cancer Research Wales, commented: “It is inspiring to count such a brave, brilliant woman among our supporters.

“We are extremely grateful to Gwen, her Canolfan Steffan colleagues and all of her sponsors, for helping us give hope to people suffering with cancer here in Wales.”

Cancer Research Wales would be grateful to anyone who would like to sponsor Gwen. Donations can be made online at www.justgiving.com/gwencm7.

All the money raised by Gwen’s sponsored head shave event will stay in Wales to help Cancer Research Wales fund its pioneering research projects at sites such as the Velindre Centre, where the charity has its headquarters.