Skegness GP in sponsored beard grow

Dr Bola Taiwo with staff at the Beacon Medicial Practice
Dr Bola Taiwo with staff at the Beacon Medicial Practice

Beards are traditionally seen as a sign of strength and a Skegness GP hopes his lengthy whiskers will provide power to a Nigerian village.

Dr Bola Taiwo is being sponsored to grow a beard in a bid to supply electricity to his home village, Ilewo Alaga.

The GP, who works at the Beacon Medical Practice, is aiming to raise more than £20,000. He hopes the cash will enable the village to have light by Christmas.

Dr Taiwo will not be cutting his beard or hair for eight weeks for his appeal called Light of Life.

So far £8,000 has been provided for electricity poles. The rest of the money will pay for a transformer and cables.

Dr Taiwo said: “Most of the neighbouring villages have an electric supply and the darkness in Ilewo Alaga has been a sore point for the people of the village over the years.

“Electricity will enable the young people to be more economically productive and is more environmentally friendly, reducing smoke pollution and hazards.”

A lay preacher, Dr Taiwo regularly attends services at Burgh le Marsh, Newark and Rotherham.

He has worked at the medical practice, where he is a partner GP, for more than 10 years.

Staff and patients at Beacon Medical Practices in Skegness, Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells are donating cash for the appeal.

Pens and badges will also be on sale at the surgeries to boost the total.

Dr Taiwo has enlisted the help of his friend Mick Miller with the fundraising campaign.

Skegness photographer Mr Miller has set up a Facebook site and produced posters for the appeal.

He said: “Bola has asked me to switch the lights on with the local chief when the money has been raised.”

Ilewo Alaga is in Ogun state, south west Nigeria close to the port city of Lagos.