Featherstone mayor and councillor shave heads to help under-pressure food bank

Featherstone mayor Steve Vickers and councillor Graham Isherwood had their heads shaved earlier this month.
Featherstone mayor Steve Vickers and councillor Graham Isherwood had their heads shaved earlier this month.

Two councillors have raised hundreds of pounds for their local food bank after having their heads shaved.

Featherstone member Graham Isherwood, and the town's mayor, Steve Vickers, had their locks cut off earlier this month.

Coun Isherwood said around 300 worth of food had been bought for the charity with the money raised.

Coun Isherwood said around 300 worth of food had been bought for the charity with the money raised.

Between £300 and £400 was generated, and that has already helped pay for supplies for Featherstone's Faith Net foodbank, which is run by a coalition of local churches.

Coun Isherwood explained his new look during a discussion about food bank provision across the Wakefield district at a scrutiny meeting on Monday.

He said: "We've all been involved in our local food banks, and that's why I've had my head shaved.

"We raised something like £300, and so we went out and bought £300 worth of food and handed it over to them. They really needed it."

Coun Isherwood represents Featherstone on Wakefield Council.

Coun Isherwood represents Featherstone on Wakefield Council.

Coun Vickers joked that he "didn't have much to lose" from taking part.

He said: "Normally we'd wait until the end of the year to hand out the mayor's charity money, but the reality is the food bank needs core items now.

"It's particularly important this time of year, because people are going away on holiday and the donations dry up.

"It is shocking in this day and age that we have food banks. It's like something from the Charles Dickens era. But we want to help however we can."

A working group has been set up by Wakefield Council to look at any links between the government's recent changes to Universal Credit and the rise in food bank use.

Councillor David Jones told the scrutiny meeting that food bank organisers were "doing a great job" under difficult circumstances because they were unable to predict demand.

He said: "They do not have a clue, whenever the open, who's going to walk through the door, what needs they will have and what pressures they'll be under.

"They just don't know from one day to the next how many people will come.

"In Pontefract last week, on Tuesday it was heaving, and on Thursday it was dead."

Local Democracy Reporting Service