When It Happens Panel Get involved: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting 'OXFORD NEWS' to 80360 or email
CHARITY MATTERS: It’s a close shave for plucky Zena
WHEN Bicester soldier Patrick Burns lost a leg in an explosion in Afghanistan it brought home to many the devastation war can cause.
But it got Zena Rose thinking what she could do to help Patrick, the son of her work colleague Diane Limb, and other troops like him.
She quickly ruled out climbing a mountain or running a marathon, and decided instead she would shave her head.
Private Patrick Burns, of 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment, narrowly escaped with his life after stepping on a bomb buried in the ground in January 2011 because the main part of the explosive did not detonate.
Although the bottom half of his right leg had to be amputated in the field, the talented rugby player has returned to his regiment after adapting to life with a new prosthetic limb.
He was supported by charity Blesma, which helps veterans who have lost limbs, and that is the charity Miss Rose decided to back and raised £1,200.
Since April the Bullingdon Prison officer had been growing her locks until shave day at Chicks salon, in Evans Yard, Bicester, on Friday, August 3.
Although she usually wore her hair fairly short, going under the razor was still a shock to the 36-year-old from Bicester.
Miss Rose said: “I woke up on Friday and thought what am I doing? Then I thought get over yourself.
“When they did my hair it was very bizarre. I was completely bald. I felt I was almost naked.
“The reason I decided to have my head shaved was a lot of people climb mountains or run, and I’m not very athletic. But I thought they have lost something, why don’t I lose something?
“I was chatting to Di and she told me about what happened to Patrick.
“I met Patrick after he was an Olympic Torch bearer and to look at him you could see he had a false leg, but it didn’t phase him. That’s when I knew I had picked the right charity.
“A lot of people have said to me I must be mad to lose my hair, cut it all off – that it’s a brave thing to do.
“Well I am not the brave one. After all, my hair will grow back. It’s all these men and women in the services that are the brave ones.”
Last year staff at the prison raised more than £8,000 for The Parachute Regiment charity, The Afghanistan Trust, and to help adapt Pte Burns’ home in Bicester.