It’s a close shave for Central England Co-op store manager as he raises hundreds for charity with lockdown headshave

A frontline retail hero’s determination to ensure his store continued its fundraising efforts despite restrictions due to the Coronavirus outbreak has seen him take on a drastic new look.

Mark Higginbottom, Store Manager at Central England Co-op’s Prince Charles Avenue Food Store in Mackworth, was looking for inspiration when it became clear his planned fundraising for the retailer’s corporate charity Dementia UK would have to be put on hold.

So, the 36-year-old suggested to his colleagues that he would have his head shaved if they raised £100. His team quickly hit the target and after recruiting his daughter Eva to do the deed, Paul is now sporting a dramatic new look

Mark, from Denby, has been store manager at Prince Charles Avenue for 15 months after spending 16 years with the retailer.

He said: “At the minute we are not able to do the fundraising activities that we had planned, such as raffles in store. Dementia UK are a great cause, so I wanted to make sure we still did something for them, as well as for the NHS.

“After my team donated the £100 I opened it up to other store managers in the area and have raised over £200 and I’m hoping to boost that total further.

“I quite like how it has turned out to be fair. I’ve never had it this short. Eva wanted to help, and she managed to do it leaving no cuts! My colleagues thought I would look strange with no hair, so they are a bit disappointed it looks alright.

“Eva said she did not like it at first but the next day when she got up she just laughed at me. Now she said she quite likes it short, just maybe not this short!”

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Notes to editors

About Central England Co-operative

Central England Co-operative is one of the largest independent retail co-operative societies in the UK with interests in food, funeral, floral, travel and property investment.

Co-operatives have always been there for their communities; they were formed to protect them and help them flourish. 

Our 7,900 colleagues serving our Members and customers work hard to ensure that co-operative values, principles and spirit flow through everything we do to help support and improve our local communities.

Owned by hundreds of thousands of Members, we have over 430 trading outlets across 16 counties including West Midlands, Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Lincolnshire, West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire, Suffolk, Norfolk, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire. 

We are proud of our reputation for ethical business practices and corporate responsibility.

We invest a percentage of our trading profit into local communities through our Community Dividend Fund scheme, have donated over £1.3 million to our corporate charity partner Dementia UK and also operate a pioneering food redistribution partnership with FareShare Midlands so unsold food goes to those in need.

Visit for more information or follow us on Facebook or Twitter using @mycoopfood

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