Luvata bets beard or bald to benefit Isabel Hospice

(26 September 2018) During the June 2018 Luvata Production System (LPS) conference held in Pori, Finland, casual discussions turned into a summer of beard balm for Bryan Johnson, Manufacturing Manager with Luvata in Welwyn Garden City, UK, and hair brushing for Alejandro Tassara, LPS Director Europe - all for the benefit of Isabel Hospice.

Luvata charity fundraisingPictured L-R:  Alejandro Tassara and Bryan Johnson 'with hair'.

Following treatment for Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 1989, Bryan's hair never came back. While he is able to grow a mustache and beard, he has chosen not to for nearly 30 years. Meanwhile, Alejandro isn't able to grow a beard, but spends nearly 470 SEK (40 GBP) per month maintaining his lush head of hair. Alejandro recalls going bald just once in his lifetime, roughly 20 years ago following a hair clipper mishap with a previous girlfriend.

With the encouragement from other LPS attendees, one thing lead to another - if Bryan grew his beard for the next three months then Alejandro would shave his head. Colleagues, family and friends could donate to Isabel Hospice as encouragement. Isabel Hospice is a charity near and dear to the Welwyn Garden team.

Over the three months, Luvata in Welwyn Garden City has raised nearly 750 GBP for Isabel Hospice. Founded in 1982, Isabel Hospice provides free palliative care and support for patients and their families living with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses. It serves almost 350,000 people throughout eastern Hertfordshire, including an In-Patient Hospice in Welwyn Garden City which can accommodate up to 15 patients. The hospice is part-funded by the National Health Service (NHS) locally, but the majority of income is from fundraising and trading activity.

"It costs around £4.5 million each year to continue to provide our free end of life services to local people," says Laura Pigott, Community Fundraiser with Isabel Hospice. "Thank you to everyone who supports us with their donations, large and small, we are very grateful."

"With or without hair, it's worth it," insist both Bryan and Alejandro. "We raised money for a local charity that does so much, and had some fun in the process."

"I didn't realize how much maintenance goes into keeping a mustache and beard," indicates Bryan. "I had to use beard balm nearly every day, and as several people pointed out, my beard had a little grey in it. More importantly, my wife didn't care for it," summarizes Bryan. "It had to go before we celebrated our 25-year anniversary at the end of August."


Luvata Welwyn Garden charity fundraising

Pictured L-R:  Alejandro Tassara and Bryan Johnson 'without hair'.

"While Bryan looks great with a beard, I'm not sure how well bald looks on me," suggests Alejandro. "I normally wear my hair a little longer than most people, and now that I've let it grow for three months my hair is long and curly."

Founded in 1991, Luvata Welwyn Garden manufactures resistance-welding electrodes, shanks, adapters and projection-welding electrodes, serving the automotive, shipbuilding, heavy equipment and electrical engineering industries throughout Europe. Luvata Welwyn Garden is ISO 9001:2015 certified and has improved its Lean score every audit since 2014. Lean is a world-renowned production philosophy made famous by Toyota, which focuses on minimizing waste in the pursuit of quality and value.

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