Leek woman shaves off her Movember beard
A HUSBAND and wife completed their charity challenge together – when they both shaved their beards off.
Siobhain Fletcher, who suffers from excessive facial hair due to a medical condition, decided to take part in the Movember campaign despite her own social anxieties.
But she says her experience, which involved an appearance on ITV's This Morning, has given her a major confidence boost.
Now she is hoping her actions will prove an inspiration to girls with self-confidence issues.
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The 36-year-old, from Leek, celebrated the end of Movember with a shave at The Works salon in the town centre, which staff had offered to do for free.
The annual Movember fund-raiser sees participants growmoustaches to raise awareness and money for male cancer charities.
Siobhain said she was glad she had taken part in the campaign, and hoped her example would inspire others.
She said: "I did this because I thought it was absolutely horrendous that some people are putting their lives at risk just because they are too embarrassed to go to the doctors and have themselves checked.
"I hoped that by doing this, I would show that anything is possible.
"The response I've had from everybody has been amazing. There's been no negativity at all.
"Ruth Higgin, who runs the Salon, organises talks on self-confidence for teenage girls, and she's invited me to take part in one. I'm really looking forward to that."
Siobhain suffers from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, one of the symptoms of which is hirsutism, or excessive hair growth.
She normally has to clip her facial hair every two days in order to keep it under control.
But when she saw that her friend Sam Tatton's son Ashley was growing his own moustache for Movember, Siobhain decided to join in.
She added: "I've gained a lot of confidence from it.
"I was housebound for five years because I didn't want to be seen in public.
"I only had a handful of photographs of myself.
"But now I feel much more confident about walking down the street."
Husband Jim, who also took part in Movember, said he hoped his wife's confidence boost would be permanent.
The 42-year-old said: "I asked Siobhain if she was mad when she first said she was doing this, but she has been very brave."
Ashley, aged 20, from Leek, said: "I was quite surprised when Siobhain said she wanted to do Movember too.
"I knew she'd been quite sensitive about her facial hair before, but I think it's great that she's done this."