Shave aims to build village

THIS year’s Leukaemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave, to be held on March 12 and 13, is going for more than just a world record.

The Leukaemia Foundation of Western Australia is also hoping to raise about $1 million to go towards its planned Village of Courage.

The village will be a facility that will provide accommodation and support to leukaemia patients and their families.

Some of the $1 million will also provide sustainability for some of the foundation’s other services.

The foundation hopes to build a 15 to 30 unit village.

Some of the $1 million target will be put towards negotiating for a block of land to build the village on.

The size of the block the foundation ends up acquiring will determine the number of units it can put up.

The foundation has not yet come up with a site for its village, however, its business development manager Ryan Bowden said there had been a couple of offers.

Ideally the foundation wants a near CBD site that has easy access to the main leukaemia treatment facilities and also things such as shopping centres.

Mr Bowden said the foundation hoped to have the village built within the next four years.

He said the foundation had accommodation scattered around Perth but that it wanted to consolidate it into one area.

One of the benefits of putting patients and their families close to other patients and their families is the opportunity for them to give each other support.

The village concept is not new to Australia either.

In Queensland there are two villages for people suffering fom leukaemia.

Mr Bowden said there were about 10 patients in WA diagnosed with leukaemia or other blood-related disorders a week.

"People can use one of our units for between one to two months or, in some cases, their stay can be up to eight months to a year. It depends on their condition," he said.

Last year Australia won the world record for the number of registrations for the shave with about 50,000.

Mr Bowden said in WA there were about 2,000 registrations for the shave to date.

"But there could be a lot more people than that involved. For example, a company may put in a registration but have 200 of their staff involved with it."




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