Sporting a beard may just be a matter of appearance for most men, but a Skegness GP has very special reason for stopping shaving.
Dr Bola Taiwo is being sponsored to grow his facial hair in a bid to supply electricity to a Nigerian village.
The Beard for Xmas Light fundraising appeal aims to raise £27,000 to provide power to the village of Ilewo Alaga in time for the festive season.
Bola, who has been working at the Beacon Medical Practice since 2002, is currently visiting Nigeria to drum up more support for the appeal.
Since stopping shaving three months ago he has had to put up with some friendly banter from friends and work colleagues.
Bola said: “Some of the comments from my partners have not been very helpful and I have had to put up with a few jokes.
“But, when people find out what I am doing it for they are very supportive. Beards are not popular in Nigeria, but are fashionable here so I think I might keep it.”
Donations have been received from staff and patients at Beacon Medical Practices in Skegness, Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells.
Lay preacher Bola has also received support from his congregations, particularly members of the Christ Centered Ministry, Grimsby.
The fundraising appeal is being launched in Nigeria by Bola with Chief Michael Ade-Ojo.
Ilewo Alaga in Ogun state, south-west Nigeria, is the only village in the area not to have electricity.
Bola added: “Residents in the village cannot wait to have electricity.
“Can you imagine people seeing electric light for the first time in their life, it will be indescribable.”