Echoes Bar Manager Sheds Dreadlocks for Charity

James Hoye, Manager of Henley bar Echoes, made a bold decision for a noble cause as he bid farewell to his dreadlocks on Sunday. The bar was abuzz with excitement as a crowd gathered to witness the big chop, all in support of the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre.

Having sported his dreadlocks for the last 10 years, James undertook the charitable cut for a cause close to his heart. He shared, “My father-in-law has had MS since I’ve known him, but I first met him about 9 years ago and he was playing guitar and playing football. Ever since then he’s steadily declined and now he’s in a chair. His only real output is going to this MS Therapy Centre, so I thought if I could support it, anything I could do to help because I’m not a carer, why not.”

The event kicked off at noon, with over 70 people turning up to see the haircut at around 4pm. A fundraising raffle featured prizes such as a wine tour, and the unique opportunity to snip off a dreadlock. A total of 20 dreadlocks were up for grabs. James’s wife took charge of the cutting, with his nan earning the honour of snipping off the final loc. The collective weight of the dreadlocks amounted to 567g.

After the big chop, James expressed a mix of emotions, stating, “I’m glad it’s done. I’m relieved. The build up is always worse than the actual thing, isn’t it? It’s like a wedding – you just build up and it goes, and before you know it, it’s over. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with it now. I’ve had the same haircut for 10 years, if you can call it a haircut. It’s a world of possibilities now.”

James’ family were all present to show their support on Sunday. His father, Kevin, who also has dreadlocks inspired by his son, said, “It’s sad seeing them go, because they become part of you. It’s a bit of a moment seeing him lose his dreads, but it’s for a really good cause.”

His wife Coral said, “Naturally he’s got quite curly hair, so I’m excited for it to go back to that. But I didn’t mind the dreadlocks. It was about time, wasn’t it? He had a moment last night where he was like, what am I doing? I think it motivated him doing it for charity, and obviously having so many people here to rally round.”

James has raised over £2600 so far on his JustGiving page. If you would like to make a contribution, donations can be made here.

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