‘Mad Hair Day’ raises awareness and funds for Chai’s ‘Chai in Schools’ Programme

Olivia & Ethan Hildebrand - Sinai Primary.JPG

It’s not often that you get permission to dress up for school or work, but when it’s to fundraise for Chai’s ‘Mad Hair Day’ – it’s actively encouraged! On Friday 25th May, children from several schools and nurseries across the UK that we support, adorned their hair with weird and wonderful styles, wigs and bows, paying £1 each to raise awareness and vital funds for Chai’s ‘Chai in Schools’ Programme.

Michael Sobell Sinai School, Naima Jewish Preparatory School, North West London JDS, Mosaic JPS, Yavneh Primary, Tracy Lewis Childcare in London and Broughton Jewish, North Cheshire, King David Nursery Manchester, Brodetsky Jewish Primary School, Leeds Jewish Free School, Deborah Taylor Nursery in the North West all took part in the annual event, which launched last year.

This year ‘Mad Hair Day’ was also opened up to adults, with Tapuach in Hendon, Brackmans Bakery & Coffee Shop in Prestwich and Haydn’s Kosher Meats in Whitefield all joining in the day of fun.

Over the last 4 years Chai has seen a dramatic rise in the number of young parents diagnosed with cancer turning to them for support. With this in mind, the ‘Chai in Schools’ Programme was originally designed to give teaching staff the strategies to support children going through a cancer diagnosis in their family. With the specialist knowledge Chai has within its Children and Teenage Service, they understand the complex issues that children are experiencing and work closely with primary and secondary school teachers across the UK. Chai also offers teachers access to a counsellor as it’s a difficult time for them emotionally too.

Acting as a central point of contact, Chai liaises between the school and the family to co-ordinate all the needs of the child, tailoring support to the type of request received. It may come from the school or from the family and could be at any point in the family’s cancer experience.

Over the past year Chai has expanded this programme and now sends specialist play/art therapists and counsellors into the school premises to work directly with the children affected.