Matthew Taylor is growing his beard and dyeing it blue!...Whether its stubble or a sizable beard, facial hair is something that Walsall Head of Academy Recruitment, Matthew Taylor, clearly doesn’t take too seriously.
Forever dyeing it different colours and growing it beyond control, his motivation has evolved from a daring joke with friends into a charitable event worthy of your support.
“It started off as a bet two years ago funnily enough,” Matthew explains. “Someone bet me I wouldn’t grow my beard until Christmas and I did. They then bet me I wouldn’t dye it white - so I did.
“I then decided to do it for charity and dyed my beard green for Make a Wish Foundation and Diabetes UK and raised about £300-£400.”
This year, Matthew is urging people to #livelikemike and is raising money for Diabetes UK, a cause that’s close to his heart following the sudden passing of family friend Michael Lewis.
“Michael’s dad was the manager of my football team and I used to be in the same team as his brother so I knew his family really well.
“He was only 20 years old and went to work in Dubai on live music events. On the night of his death he just felt a little under the weather and when he went to bed he slipped into a diabetic coma and never woke up.
“He’d been diagnosed with diabetes when he was 4 years old but for it to happen so suddenly just shocked everyone.
“We’re always putting on little events to raise awareness but this year I want to make a proper job of it.
“I had a really good response last year. Unfortunately I had to attend his funeral with a green beard because that was how I was raising money! But it went down really well and the family were pleased I was doing something for charity.
“This time I’m growing my beard until Christmas and then I’ll dye it blue midway through December.
“I’d love to raise anything between £500 and £1000. I know it’s nothing tremendous like climbing Everest or running a marathon but it’s more to raise awareness.
“My Nan had type 2 diabetes and my brothers girlfriend has type 1 diabetes but I never knew something like what happened to Michael could happen. I didn’t realise you could go to bed one night and never wake up. Everyone is familiar with people injecting themselves with insulin but I don’t think they’re aware of the serious risks that come with having diabetes.
“If it gets people talking and asking why I’m walking around with a blue beard then it’s done its job.”
To donate, head to Matthew’s Just Giving page HERE