Chief Scout and born survivor Bear Grylls recently helped an Eastbourne scout in his attempt to raise money for two charities close to his heart.
Eastbourne Explorer Scout Robert ‘Poodle’ Bartholomew, aged 15 decided after four years without a haircut that he would have his head shaved, with sponsorship going to two charities, Macmillan Cancer Support and the Spiro Explorer Scout Unit Eastbourne.
With help from his family and Explorer scout leaders, Poodle decided the event would take place during the week long Kernow international Scout Jamboree in Cornwall.
With his leaders shaving off different parts of his head each day for maximum impact, which caused interest and intrigue among the 1,200 scouts on site, each day during the jamboree Poodle was seen taking part in various scouting activities onsite and around the Bodmin area with crazy and sometimes ridiculous hair styles specially chosen by his leaders and fellow Explorer Scouts.
The first day saw Poodle given a reverse mohican, which led to donations from generous scouts and leaders from across the county.
The finale was lined up with Poodle only having a small plaited ponytail on the side of his head ready for his mum Donna, a Beaver Scout leader, to make the final cut, when Chief Scout Bear Grylls and comedian David Walliams flew in for a surprise visit.
After a hasty chat between his leaders and a dash to catch up with the pair in their golf buggy Bear was asked if he would make the final cut.
Poodle was hastily hurried into a secure area of the site where Bear and his friends were filming for a television programme.
The Chief Scout said Poodle’s efforts was a prime example of a typical scout giving something back to the community and helping others, before making the final cut.
Poodle had hoped to raise £200 but due to support from friends, family and help from Bear, the sponsorship has now grown to more than £610.
He said, “It was really great meeting Bear Grylls and having him help finish off my head shave.
“I feel very lucky and proud and will remember it for the rest of my life.
“The surprise visit and celebrity haircut was the perfect end to an amazing Jamboree.
“Myself, my parents Graeme and Donna and Spiro Explorer Scouts would like to thank everyone who has sponsored me and say a special thank you to Chief Scout Bear Grylls for taking time from his busy schedule to give me the final cut.
Anyone who would like to donate can find details at https://mydonate.bt.com/events/poodleshearing/101790
For more information on joining scouts whether as a youth member or a leader please visit http://scouts.org.uk
Bear Grylls is a British adventurer, writer and television presenter who was appointed the youngest ever Chief Scout at the age of 35.