Okehampton Teacher Raises over £1740 for TSS

A science teacher at Okehampton College had a dramatic hair cut recently,  raising £1742 for  local charity, Tor Support Services (TSS).

Sarah McLintock, who has had waist length hair for many years, had over 16 inches chopped off by students at Okehampton College in a brave fundraiser to support a charity that has provided vital counselling to many pupils over the last decade.

Sarah, now with jaw length hair, explains: “My hair has always been a massive part of my identity and cutting it short was a big challenge for me so this seemed a good opportunity to raise funds for Tor Support. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who donated, including the staff and students at Okehampton College, and also to Quinn’s hairdressers who supported the students (and me!) as they cut my hair in front of the school at the end of term assembly in July.

TSS is a small, Okehampton-based charity established a decade ago to offer confidential counselling to young people from Okehampton and the surrounding hamlets. Clients come from Okehampton College and the surrounding primary schools, are referred by parents, doctors, social workers and teaching assistants, or they self-refer.  The children and young people can be facing issues such as domestic violence, bereavement, abuse, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), bullying, self-harming and stress and anxiety.Between May 2018 and April 2019 TSS counsellors supported 123 young people aged between 5 and 25, providing well over 1000 counselling sessions.

Sarah continues: “I know just how critical the support TSS offers can be to a child in distress. Whatever the cause of the crisis, having access to objective and constructive support in complete confidentiality can help turn a young person’s life around.”

Kathryn Vile, Chair of the Trustees at TSS adds: “We are extremely grateful to Sarah for being prepared to make this dramatic change so publicly in order to raise funds for us. Right now, TSS is experiencing rising demand and we believe this is in part a reflection of the reducing stigma around mental health issues today, with the subject being more widely discussed than ever before.  This acceptance is allowing people to seek help where once they would have felt isolated and remained silent.  As a result, we are currently exploring how best to extend the service TSS offers local young people and we are very grateful to Sarah, and all who donated, for their support.”