Horsham's Peter Both gets bushy to raise awareness

WHILE most people shave or wax for charity these days, Horsham’s Peter Both is taking a different approach in 2014.

He will grow his beard for a year to raise awareness of Life Education Australia.

Life Education is the largest non-government provider of health education to children and young people in Australia.

It aims to see all Australians free from the effects of drugs misuse.

Mr Both, a youth worker with Wimmera Uniting Care, said he completed alcohol-free months Dry July and Ocsober last year.

He said he focused on Life Education Australia during Ocsober and raised $1300.

While out yabbying about four weeks ago, Mr Both decided to raise awareness of the organisation – with a beard.

He started growing the facial hair on December 16 and plans to have a great shave-off on New Year’s Eve at the end of 2014.

Mr Both said it was important to talk about the effects of drugs and alcohol with young people.

He said he had told his son Toby, 14, about the issue.

“It’s always a fear of parents that their child becomes dependent on drugs or alcohol,’’ he said.

“As a young bloke, we didn’t have people to tell us about drinking.” 

Mr Both said Life Education Australia visited schools and discussed the issue.

He said educating youths on drugs and addiction was important.

“The issues are just as big in the country – ice is a big problem,” he said. 

“It’s a big thing for our community and adults need to know more.’’

Mr Both said beating around with a bushy beard throughout 2014 would help start conversations with both parents and children.

He said as a bald and generally clean-shaven man who had lived in Horsham for 30 years, the beard would surprise many people who knew him.

“People will say ‘what’s the beard for’ and that’s a way to start up the conversation,’’ he said.

Despite the serious message behind the beard, Mr Both said the extra facial hair was a bit of a laugh for him.

He said his wife Kelli was less enthused about the beard but agreed it was for a good cause.

“She’s not the biggest fan – if I wasn’t doing it to raise money it wouldn’t be there,’’ he said.

Mr Both said while awareness was his major aim with the campaign, people could also donate towards the cause by searching for him on everydayhero.com.au.

He said he aimed to raise $2000 by the end of the year.

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