THE DEACON of Romsey Abbey and a team of baristas dyed their hair pink in a bid to raise money for charity.

Paul Hollingworth, a retired Southampton General Hospital employee, alongside the staff at Cafe Nero located in The Hundred dyed their hair pink to raise money for Cancer Research.

Erin Woods, who is the manager of the Romsey coffee shop, said:” We came up with the idea to dye our hair pink after we heard that Paul’s wife Mary had cancer and we wanted to do something.”

After the team decided to undertake the hair dye challenge the 67-year-old said: “I also wanted to get involved because we have at least ten people in Romsey Abbey who have suffered from cancer.”

The team at Cafe Nero according to Erin are planning on keeping their pink hairstyles for a few weeks.

Erin said: “I really like it and I might keep mine pink.”

After having his hair dyed Paul said: “At first I was apprehensive as it was so vibrant but now I think it is brilliant.

“My wife also thinks it is great.”

Paul had his hair dyed by Rhiannon Wilmott who is the children and family’s support worker at Romsey Abbey.

Paul ran his congregation on June 23 where around 250 people saw his hair.

When asked if he plans on keeping his pink hairstyle Paul said: “This won’t be a one off, I want to do it to raise money every year.”

The team at Cafe Nero have had collection tins around the coffee shop and two of the members of staff also took part in the Race for Life in Southampton.

Paul said: “The team at Cafe Nero also want to buy my wife a wig.

“I was really choked when I found out as for me this is all quite emotional.

“The team there are great, it is a wonderful place.”

Paul said that currently he has raised £1000 and he said he “was just a bit overwhelmed”.

He added: “We only set a target of £500 so this is just amazing.”

When asked about the Sunday service that he carried out he said: “There were gasps about my new hair but it went down brilliantly.”

During the service Paul spoke about the reason why he had dyed his hair pink and he said: “I have never had so many people come up to me and say what a beautiful service it was.

“It was very emotional for me.”

The news of Paul’s fundraising efforts come after thousands of people took part in the Race for Life at Southampton Common.

Runners of all ages made their way around the circuit on Sunday morning with buggies and dogs even taking part.

The Southampton route was a double lap of 5km, taking runners along the tree-lined paths of the Common and down The Avenue.

The event began after a ten-second countdown, with runners and joggers starting ahead of those who were happy to walk the course.