Duchess of Kent to Host Charity Beard Shave

On 23 April Fire Protection Engineer Martin Hills will be getting a close shave for charity in his local public house, The Duchess of Kent.

Martin Hills is a regular in the Duchess of Kent in Northumberland Heath.  Having spent many hours hearing stories from his friend, London Cab Driver Paul Cook about the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, Martin decided he wanted to raise some money to support the veterans.

Martin Hills said, “Paul is always telling me about what he does to support the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans and how they are totally reliant on donations to enable them to take veterans back to Normandy and the Netherlands as well as to events across the UK. I decided that I wanted to help and after considering what I could do, I decided to shave off my beard. I am well known for my beard as it’s my pride and joy but I think I can make this tiny sacrifice to support those men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom.”


Paul Cook, London Cab Driver and Taxi Charity Volunteer, said “Everyone will enjoy seeing what Martin looks like under that beard! We might not even recognise him! I thoroughly enjoy volunteering for the Taxi Charity and I have met some incredible men and women who fought in WWII when I have driven them to commemorations across the continent. I am delighted that Martin wants to help by asking people to donate towards his beard shave.”

Dick Goodwin, Vice President,  Taxi Charity for Military Veterans, said, “2023 is a very special milestone in the charity’s history as we are celebrating our 75th anniversary. We are so thankful when people like Martin are inspired to raise funds for us and we are looking forward to seeing him clean shaven.”

Paul Cook will be taking one of the veteran’s the Taxi Charity supports  to the Duchess of Kent on 23 April to witness the beard removal and to help pass a collection bucket around the pub.

Martin continued, “I would love to raise £1,000 for the Taxi Charity. I know everyone in the Duchess will get behind me and I am sure there will be plenty of volunteers offering to use the razor but I have said Paul can wield the blade and hopefully we will reach the target.”

 If you would like to donate to support the work of the Taxi Charity, please visit www.taxicharity.org

About the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans

The Taxi Charity is run by volunteer London black taxi drivers and has been supporting thousands of veterans since 1948. It is the only Forces charity that focuses on providing fun and entertainment and arranges free trips (for veterans from all conflicts) to the Netherlands and France, for acts of commemoration and days out to museums, concerts, or social events across the UK.

2023 is the charity’s 75th anniversary, a remarkable milestone for a small, niche charity peopled by enthusiastic volunteers.

The charity received the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2021, an award approved by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the equivalent of the MBE for charities.

To fund and facilitate their work, the charity is reliant on donations, grants and sponsorship and launched a ‘75 for 75’ fundraising campaign to raise £75,000 in its anniversary year.