Tommy’s researchers brave the shave to raise money for pioneering stillbirth research

Researchers from Tommy’s Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre at the University of Manchester have raised more than £3000 this week to help fund essential research into stillbirth and associated pregnancy complications.

A team of reasearchers and clinicians smiling for the camera

June 19 2020

This week, three of Tommy’s internationally renowned scientists from our Manchester Centre took part in a ‘Hair Off’ challenge to raise vital funds for research into stillbirth.

Centre Director Professor Alex Heazell was joined by two colleagues, Professor Ed Johnstone and Professor Jenny Myers, for a socially distant head shaving session – which was captured on camera so that all their supporters can watch from home and feel part of the hair-raising event.

Despite being already busy enough driving ground-breaking research studies and providing specialist care for women with high-risk pregnancies, our professors made the bold decision to organise this because fundraising at Tommy’s – like many charities – has taken a big hit with event cancellations in coronavirus lockdown.

The team set themselves an ambitious target of £1,000 but this was quickly surpassed; their fundraising total currently sits at an impressive £3,667. We hope this continues to rise and you can donate via the team’s JustGiving Page.

“Although we’re always in awe of our pioneering professors in Manchester, this is a particularly special moment! Coronavirus is creating higher demand for support from Tommy’s, with many anxious parents-to-be and women going through baby loss unsure where to turn for help in lockdown – but at the same time, it’s wiping out a lot of the funds we expected to raise this year because we can’t hold the big events we usually would. When our work matters more than ever and our funding is under such pressure, we’re extremely grateful to Alex, Ed and Jenny - and all their generous sponsors - for this inspirational fundraising effort.”

Jacqui Clinton, Tommy’s Fundraising Director 

More about our Manchester Centre

Opened in 2011, our pioneering research centre in Manchester aims to find solutions to pregnancy problems. The centre focuses on 3 core aims:

  • understanding the causes of stillbirth and developing treatments to prevent it
  • finding ways to identify which pregnancies are at risk
  • working with the NHS to improve antenatal care to help reduce stillbirth rates in the UK.

Tommy’s researchers deliver world-class advances in pregnancy research to inform better clinical care, policy and practice. By doing this, we can improve outcomes for mothers, their babies and their families.

Find out more about our Manchester Research Centre and specialist clinics.

Explore Tommy's pioneering research

  • Predicting and preventing premature birth

    Premature birth is the biggest killer of newborn babies in the UK and much of Tommy's research is devoted to predicting and preventing this. One discovery has made a huge difference to our ability to treat women in time.

  • Finding the reasons for stillbirth

    In more than half of stillbirths parents are not given a reason for their babies' death. Doctors simply do not know why it happens. This animation looks at how Tommy's researchers are finding out the causes of stillbirth and how this leads to treatments and saved lives.

  • Finding the reasons for miscarriage

    Too many miscarriages are unexplained. Our research is entirely dedicated to finding out why miscarriages happen and how to prevent it in the future.

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