Thursday 5 February 2015

Emmaus companion shaves beard for James Hopkins Trust


Emmaus Gloucestershire companion, Bob Johnson has gone under the razor to raise money for James Hopkins Trust, in a sponsored shave that pulled in more than £100, enough to fund sessions for up to ten children in the multi-sensory room.

Bob, who grew the beard at Christmas to play Santa at James Hopkins Trust, has already raised more than £1,000 for the charity over the past two years, which provides practical help for children under five who need nursing support to manage a disability or life-limiting condition.

Bob has a very personal reason for his charity work, as he himself was helped by local charity, Emmaus Gloucestershire. Bob was homeless for a number of years before he moved to Emmaus. He now has a stable home and, as well as working in the charity’s social enterprise, volunteers his spare time to help others who need it.

Bob Johnson, Gloucestershire companion, said: “I’ve grown my beard to play Santa for the past two years and I love it, as it lets me give something back to the local community that supported me when I was in down on my luck. Seeing the Children smile at Christmas is absolutely worth it.

“My beard has to get pretty massive to play Santa, so I try to raise some money when I shave it off. It was a pretty big task to get rid of it and I’m expecting to have a cold chin now it’s gone.”

Sarah James, Head of Fundraising at James Hopkins Trust said: “Every Christmas without fail ‘Santa Bob’ visits James Hopkins Trust to deliver his gifts to severely disabled, life limited and life threatened young children living in Gloucestershire. The families look forward to his visit and he certainly helps to make magic memories. We have enjoyed Bob being part of James Hopkins Trust and we rely greatly on the goodwill and generosity of people in our community to ensure we can continue providing free nursing respite for our families. For Bob to have now completed a sponsored shave to raise more funds for us is tremendous.”

Bob shaved his beard on Sunday 31 January at The Royal Oak, Hucclecote, Gloucester. To sponsor Bob please visit