Kind-hearted Zara Blanchard has boosted our funds by over £700 after selflessly growing and donating 22” of her blonde hair to a charity that provides free wigs to poorly young people.
Zara, 11, from Huddersfield, decided to start growing her hair four years ago as a fund-raiser in memory of her grandma, Jennifer Hunt, who had just died at the hospice after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Mum, Nicola, set up a Virgin Money Giving account for friends and family who wanted to sponsor her challenge, with all the money raised going to St John’s as the family’s thank you for the “fantastic” care Jennifer received.
Then, after painstakingly watching her hair grow inch by inch till it reached below her waist, the Kirkheaton Primary School pupil went to her hairdresser at the beginning of June to have her Rapunzel-like locks cut, leaving her with a smart new-look bob.
Zara then posted her hair to The Little Princess Trust, which donates real hair wigs to children and young people – aged up to 24 – who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.
Nicola said: “We’re all so proud of Zara. She is a big Blue Peter fan and thought of the fund-raising idea after watching a clip on The Little Princess Trust on one of their programmes. She’s a keen ice skater, used to having her hair flowing behind on the rink so she’s still getting used to her new look hairstyle but is delighted with the amount that she has raised after initially setting out to reach £100.
“She thanks everyone who has supported her.
“As a family we are so grateful for the fantastic help and support we received from St John’s. Mum was diagnosed with cancer and was admitted to the hospice within a few days. We were all in shock, but the staff were so caring for mum and supportive to us that we cannot thank them enough for helping us through such a difficult time.”
Hospice fundraiser Lindsey Richards said: “We are so thankful to Zara for her wonderful fund-raiser in memory of her grandma. It is so gratifying that people outside the Doncaster area are willing to support our work.”