An 11-year-old islands boy has raised more than £3,600 by shaving his head to promote awareness of mental health issues in teenagers.
Jacob Mallon, from St Mary's, decided to "brave the shave" after his friend Tom West's brother Sam took his own life in January aged 15 during treatment for clinical depression.
Jacob wanted to raise funds for Project Walk to Talk, part of the Sam West Foundation, which was set up by the West family to raise awareness of teenage mental health and to promote the idea that “it is ok to not be ok”. The charity also supports arts and music in schools.
Jacob’s hair was shaved by Tom West at the Scillonian Club on July 27th. Various local businesses donated prizes for a raffle, including Fraggle Rock cafe, Fay Page Silver, artist Richard Pearce and the Tideline shop on St Mary's.
Jacob's mum Sam Mallon wrote on Facebook this week: “WOW, we are SOOOOO proud of [Jacob]… For someone who doesn’t like short hair, we couldn’t believe it when he first told us what he intended to do. Last week we transferred £3,624.00 to #thesamwestfoundation bank account, and we are still receiving donations for this amazing charity which will be transferred as we receive them. If you would like to donate please let us know and we will pass on bank details.”
Staff at the Atlantic Inn recently nominated Jacob for Radio Scilly’s 'Random Acts of Kindness' segment, which gives cupcakes from Becky's Scilly Cakes to islanders who have been particularly generous.
Sam wrote at the time: “Jacob is absolutely delighted with this unexpected treat, and it has gone some way to help with the EXTREME itching he is currently experiencing!”