A little girl with very long hair will be going a cut above the rest in the new year to raise money for cancer research.
Olivia Tully, 10, will have her long brown hair cut off on New Year’s Day – and has already raised £1,000 through her JustGiving page.
Olivia, of Horley, was inspired to take the unprecedented step after seeing photos of one of her mother’s friends, who had lost her own hair to cancer.
The St Margaret’s Primary School pupil was determined to do something extra special to raise money – and suggestions from mum Jackie that she could hold a cake sale simply didn’t cut it with her.
Jackie said: “My friend Diane, who I’ve known for 25 years, was diagnosed with uterine sarcoma.
“Olivia wanted to do something to help and I suggested a cake sale but she said she wanted to do something much bigger than that.”
Jackie made a tongue-in-cheek suggestion that Olivia have her hair cut off and was stunned when her feisty daughter leapt at the idea.
She said: “I made her think about it for a few weeks and she wouldn’t budge.
“She said to me ‘I’m not losing anything, it will grow back’.
“I’m so proud of her. I don’t know where she gets it from because I’m not that brave.”
Olivia has a second reason to want to raise money for Cancer Research – her 81-year-old grandfather has had prostate cancer for 16 years.
She set up a JustGiving page in the hope of raising £200, which Jackie thought was a rather low challenge to set.
And it turned out that mother knew best as generous donations from family, friends and well wishers saw the total soar to £1,122 by Monday (December 23).
Staff and pupils at St Margaret’s School, Ifield, also got involved in the fundraising effort with a newsletter being sent home with each child, describing Olivia’s quest.
Her classmates – who have only ever known Olivia with her flowing locks – have even come up with a suitable nickname for her. Baldilocks.
When asked what she though of the name, Olivia grinned and said: “It’s very clever.”
Olivia will have her hair chopped off by her aunt and, as if her fundraising was not enough, will donate the locks to the Little Princess Trust, which makes real hair wigs for children who suffer hair loss.
Jackie said: “We’re really amazed that she’s so determined.
“We’re just really proud of her – I just can’t tell you how proud we are of her. My heart swells.”
If you would like to sponsor Olivia, log on to www.justgiving.com/Olivia-tully.
For more information about the Little Princess Trust, log on to www.littleprincesses.org.uk