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The Santa Shave Part II

Wednesday 2nd March

  • Fundraising & Events
  • Stories

Witham resident, Malcolm Suckling transformed himself into Father Christmas at the end of last year by growing his beard for over four months to raise money for Farleigh Hospice.

Malcolm Suckling with his brother Lawrence and son Sam handing over the money raised to Farleigh Hospice. L to R: Lawrence Suckling, Malcolm Suckling and Sam Suckling.

Malcolm has form when it comes to transforming himself into Santa. He previously grew his beard for 15 weeks to dress up as Santa in 2019 for a Christmas in summer party, which he organised to raise money for the hospice.

Already well known by friends and clients for having done this, when planning the 2021 Witham Bowls Club Christmas party, fellow members joked that Malcolm couldn’t be Santa again because he didn’t have time to grow his beard. Never one to shy away from a challenge, Malcolm declared that he could, and the challenge was set!

Malcolm’s beard full grown the day before the great shave.

Malcolm grew his beard from October 2021 to the end of January 2022, and was transformed into Santa once again in time for the Christmas party. As he had done in 2019, he then charged all the club members and some of his friends to shave it off at the end of January, raising over £700.

Malcolm said: “It was quite funny really, the joke about me not being able to grow my beard in time to be Santa kind of turned into a dare, so I thought I’d turn it into another opportunity to raise money for Farleigh Hospice. They were so kind and caring to my wife when she was ill, they helped us a lot during what was a very difficult time for our family. My wife died peacefully at the hospice with the best possible care, and I will never forget that.”

Malcolm as Santa at Witham Bowls Club’s Christmas Party 2021.

The bowls club also held a burns night event in January and donated the proceeds of the food and drinks sold towards the fundraising total.

Debbie De Boltz, Fundraising Manager at Farleigh Hospice said: “We’re so thankful to Malcolm for taking on such a challenge for a second time! We really appreciate the generosity shown by his clients and fellow bowls club members in sponsoring him to shave it off. The money Malcolm has raised will help us to continue to provide much-needed care and support to people in mid-Essex affected by life-limiting illness and bereavement.”

If you would like to fundraise for Farleigh Hospice by setting your own challenge, or by taking part in one of our fundraising events, visit or call 01245 457411 for more information.