Acmena staff and detainees get behind Country Hope rally

DETAINEES and staff members at the Acmena juvenile justice centre might be able to handle the heat a little better after they chopped off their locks for charity.

Next month, Lynelle Wright, an Acmena employee, and her partner James Desmond will head off on the Riverina Redneck Rally and raise money for the Country Hope foundation, which helps kids with cancer and serious illnesses in the country.

As part of the fundraiser, Ms Wrights co-worker decided to shave off her hair to help raise money for the rally.

For shift supervisor Gwen Appo, shaving off her hair for charity wasn't a difficult decision to make.

"I was considering shaving my hair for a fair while, my mother passed with cancer a few years ago now, and I was considering doing that,” she said.

"When Lynelle and I talked and I found out what she was raising money for, I thought 'I may as well jump in with you fellas'.”

Ms Wright has been raising money for months and has received a lot of support from the staff at Acmena.

"We've been doing raffles, donation tins, and we've reached out goal,” she said.

"We've reached over $2500, we're over the mark.

"The bulk of our fundraising to this point has come through Acmena staff.

Ms Appo said a lot of the support she received for shaving her hair came from the staff at Acmena as well.

"It's pulled us all together as a team, so it was team Acmena who has done this,” she said.

"Without the fellas behind us, this wouldn't have happened.”

Ms Appo added that this was a very positive moment for Acmena.

"There is a lot of good will and unity within us,” she said.

Two detainees shaved their hair for charity along side Ms Appo, one with a personal connection to the cause himself.

"I did it because my little brother has cancer, and I'd do anything to help him,” the detainee said.

"I only decided to do it today, I wanted to do it for my mother.”

The other detainee said he was proud to be helping the cause.

"When Gwen mentioned she was doing it, I wanted to raise awareness for kids with cancer too,' he said.

Ms Appo said the involvement of the detainees was a testament to the relationships the Acmena staff form with the boys.

"I think that with (the boys), it proves what sort of a rapport we get with these buys that we work with,” she said.

"We do build rapport with the kids, not all of them, but most of them I would say, on different levels.”

Cherrie Moran from South Grafton Hair and Beauty donated her time to help shaved Ms Appo's hair and the two detainees.

Ms Wright and Mr Desmond are heading off on the Riverina Redneck Rally from March 18 to 22.

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