GROWING SUPPORT: Rebecca Roche and partner Clint Hartley (front) with his fellow Beards of Hope, Mick, Marc, Matt and Jake, who have grown beards for three months to be shaved off to raise money for Bears of Hope.
GROWING SUPPORT: Rebecca Roche and partner Clint Hartley (front) with his fellow Beards of Hope, Mick, Marc, Matt and Jake, who have grown beards for three months to be shaved off to raise money for Bears of Hope. Andy Parks

Bearded blokes lose it to help

REBECCA Roche never got to take her baby home.

After carrying Addison Lee to full term in January, there were complications with the birth and her daughter died after just five days.

"It's incredibly hard. It's something we struggle with every day and will for the rest of our lives, but I'm sure with time it will get better," Rebecca said.

One of the things she said helped her was receiving a bear gift pack from another family that had lost a child, through an organisation called Bears of Hope.

The pregnancy and infant loss support service provides phone and email counselling, online chat groups and creates a sense of community for people who are dealing with the grief of losing a child.

"It was just a beautiful thing (receiving the gift pack). It let you know you are not alone, that lots of families are going through the same situation," she said.

Rebecca and her fiance Clint Hartley are planning to send a bear pack to another family in the future.

"It's just something nice you can do; it's a legacy for your child," she said.

Rebecca and Clint have organised a fund-raising event this weekend called Beards of Hope, a play on words.

Clint and a bunch of his mates from Casino meatworks have been growing beards for the past three months and will have them shaved off at the Commercial Hotel on Saturday, October 4.

There will be a barbecue, raffles with prizes from local businesses and other fun and fund-raising.

It will start at 2pm and everyone is welcome.



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