'I’ve never done anything mad before in my life. It’s the right time to start, isn’t it?'

A Northern Irish grandmother is braving a buzz cut for the first time in her life to benefit a Donegal charity close to her heart.

Anne Blemings (aged 71) from Dungannon in Co. Tyrone will shave her head later this month for the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary.

Anne Blemings

Anne’s fundraiser was inspired by the huge levels of admiration she has for sanctuary owners Danny and Sandra Curran.

The Donegal Donkey Sanctuary in Raphoe is facing extra financial pressure this year due to Covid-19 and an increase in abandoned donkeys coming into their care. 

Anne, who is a dedicated supporter of the shelter, is hoping her head shave will generate money to help the Currans cover food, bedding and vet costs for the special animals.

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary Residents Bob and Bert

“Wee Timmy drew us in,” Anne tells Donegal Daily.

Timmy the miracle donkey made the headlines in 2016 when he was fitted with prosthetic legs to fix a birth deformity. Danny and Sandra were first advised to put Timmy to sleep, but their intervention and a major fundraiser saved his life.

Anne said: “We went to meet Timmy and from then on we would be fairly generous to the sanctuary with our donations. We would buy them their organic hay this last five years. I knew in my heart they would be struggling with the coronavirus. I don’t have a lot of money to give them, but I thought if I can raise money I’ll do it.”

Donegal Donkey Sanctuary owner Danny Curran with Quiney

After a chat with her husband Jim, Anne decided that a head shave would be a good way of raising money to help. The fact that the couple was self-isolating at home was also a factor in their decision since Anne wasn’t going to the hairdressers anytime soon! 

“I’ve never done anything mental or mad before in my life. It’s the right time to start, isn’t it?,” Anne said.

Anne and Jim’s twin granddaughters Olivia and Grace (aged 10) will do the honours of giving their granny a close shave under the guidance of Anne’s local hairdresser, Helen Gross.

The family has planned a small event for the shave outside Anne’s home on 26th July to ensure everyone stays safely distanced.

Anne is delighted with the response to her shave so far. The online GoFundMe page has exceeded its target twice over and she is hoping to bring in as much as possible to ease the burden on the sanctuary.

“To me, it’s the most beautiful remote place, and my God do they care for their donkeys, we were up for Timmy’s birthday party and had the twins at it and they love it.

“They have the tea room, and you’re always guaranteed and a bit of craic and a bit of a laugh. Danny and Sandra know every one of the donkeys, their history, their ailments, where they were found and I think that’s amazing.”

To support Anne’s Buzz Cut for Donegal Donkey Sanctuary please visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/buzz-cut-for-donegal-donkey-sanctuary