A group of ‘Bearded Villains’ had all the colours of the rainbow running through their impressive facial hair after taking on Bluebell Wood’s popular virtual Colour Throw.

The Lake District chapter of the Bearded Villains - a global community organisation of hirsute men dedicated to charity and kindness - has been supporting Bluebell Wood for the past couple of years.

As well as taking part in the charity’s virtual Colour Throw in early September, the group also raised a whopping £1,000 through the sale of 99 limited edition patches in Bluebell Wood's trademark colours.

Dad-of-three Matthew Doe, who joined the Bearded Villains in 2015 after winning a beard growing bet with his two brothers, said the group had a blast.

“It was great fun and such a good laugh,” said Matt, 37, from Oldham.

“By the end we had a small group watching us – all socially distanced – and they found it hilarious.

“We were chasing around all over the place and we let the kids annihilate us so they loved it.”

The 33-strong Lakeside Villains picked Bluebell Wood as a chosen charity at the suggestion of several of their members.

“A few of the lads have either direct or indirect experience of Bluebell Wood and after they explained the charity’s life-changing work, it was a no-brainer,” said Matt.

“We’ve supported many charities over the past few years and it’s a fundamental part of what we do.

“The Bearded Villains is, in normal times, about meeting up and having a laugh. But as part of that we’re always looking for ways to help others and it really helps bring us together.”

As part of this mission, Matthew designed a special, limited edition patch with their chapter’s logo to raise funds for Bluebell Wood.

“Last year we delivered a lot of art and craft materials to Bluebell Wood and we were gutted that we were unable to do it this year because of the pandemic,” said Matt.

“So I came up with the idea of a patch and the lads really bought into it. Patches are really popular in the Bearded Villains community, almost like Pokemon cards, and the ones we made went down a storm and sold out in no time at all.”

Sally Baker, Community Fundraising Manager at Bluebell Wood, said: “We’d like to say a huge thank you to Matt and all the Bearded Villains for their ongoing support.

“It really does make a huge difference to the families we support through some of the toughest times imaginable.

“We’re delighted to hear the members and their families enjoyed taking part in our Colour Throw so much, and the patches look absolutely fantastic!”

The charity launched its virtual Colour Throw, which people can participate in at home, school or work, after cancelling its flagship Colour Dash event in September where thousands were expected to coast through clouds of colour to raise much-needed funds for Bluebell Wood.

Rather than disappoint all those eager to get messy, Bluebell Wood is instead inviting people to shower family, friends and colleagues in a sea of colour to support local children and families.

You can sign up to Bluebell Wood’s virtual Colour Throw here