Two brothers have bravely volunteered to have their hair shaved off to raise money for a North East hospice which cared for their step-grandad.

Finlay and Rory Hagan, who attend Hurworth School, near Darlington, took the bald step in memory of 61-year-old Richard Abbott, who died from cancer.

Finlay, 13, and Rory, 11, said they were “nervous but excited” about raising vital funds for St Teresa’s Hospice.

“When our step-grandad passed away, St Teresa’s Hospice was amazing, and their support meant that our Nanna was able to get a night’s sleep because she knew he was being well looked after,” said Finlay.

Rory added: “Having your hair shaved off is a bit scary but we wanted to do something to remember him, and to raise money for a good cause.”

The boys’ mum, Natalie, a teaching assistant at Hurworth Primary School, came up with the head shave idea but didn’t think they would be prepared to do it.

“I expected them to say ‘no’ but they were all for it straight away,” she said:

“I’m so proud of them for being so selfless at an age when children are so conscious of their appearance. They’ve put that to one side because they know it’s going to help others.

“Richard was a lovely man who meant a lot to the family. He was a regular fundraiser himself for the Dogs Trust, and it’s nice to take something so tragic and make it so positive.”

Richard, a retired vocational training assessor at Derwentside College, had been married to Natalie’s mum, Angela, for just ten months when he died.

The shaving was carried out by the boys’ auntie, Sarah Anstay, under the supervision of their seven-year-old twin sisters, Esme and Orla.

Orla said she thought her brothers were “really brave”, while Esme added: “At first, I thought they looked a bit weird, but now I think it suits them.”

Finlay and Rory set an initial target of £250 but have “smashed” it by raising £1,135 so far. That’s in addition to £670 which was raised for St Teresa’s through a collection at Richard’s funeral service.