TO the cheers of supporters, a mum had her locks shaved off to raise money for a premature baby ward.
Robyn Bennett’s daughter Sydney died aged 22 days after she developed meningitis from contracting group B streptococcus while she was being born.
The 39-year-old, who is now seven months pregnant, underwent the chop in the Cascades shopping centre in Portsmouth in front of hundreds of shoppers.
Her hair was shaved by Ellie the Elephant, the mascot for PICU, the charity that supports the paediatric intensive care unit at Southampton General Hospital.
So far, Robyn has raised more than £16,300 towards an incubator of the kind Sydney was cared for in.
She said: ‘I was quite nervous and when I saw my friends gathering I kept looking at my watch thinking, “oh dear me”.
‘But I was doing it for my little girl and nothing was going to stop me.’
There were whoops and cheers as Robyn’s hair was shaved off.
It was tidied up afterwards by her hairdresser Andrew Robertson who then had his hair shaved off for the same charity.
Throughout the morning volunteers had been keeping shoppers entertained.
The Jiggy Wrigglers and Fancy Face face painters kept the children amused.
Also there to support Robyn, of Lyndhurst Road, North End, was Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt.
She said: ‘It was an amazing event.
‘Robyn had so much support from friends and shoppers.
‘It was a very brave thing to have done, especially in front of so many people. I was tremendously proud of her.
‘As well as raising a sizeable amount for PICU she raised a lot of awareness of the strep B.
Robyn added: ‘I’ve had quite a few strong looks since.
‘But I don’t mind at all. I’ve done it for my little girl. I’m bald and proud.’