Eleven-year-old Zara Smart decided to be brave and had her very long hair chopped off for the Little Princess Trust just before her twelfth birthday.
She also wanted to raise money for the Priaulx Premature Baby Foundation (PPBF) to buy a night for their compassionate housing; three fully-equipped and private home-from-home flats for Bailiwick of Guernsey families of premature babies, or critically ill children, needing off-island care at Southampton Hospital.
Three years ago, Zara’s Mum Lisa was diagnosed with breast cancer and had chemotherapy, which meant she lost all her hair, and with it a lot of confidence.
Zara said: “I’d like to donate my hair for a wig to help give a child back their confidence during treatment and into their recovery.”
The Little Princess Trust left a message for Zara on PPBF’s social media post about her fundraiser: “Thank you for sharing, and please do pass on a huge thank you to this superstar for planning on donating her hair – we really are grateful for the kind support.”
Never really having had her hair cut more than a trim before, this fundraising chop was quite a challenge. Luckily her Auntie, Jemma Le Tissier, is a hairdresser at Expressions Hair Studio and agreed to cut her hair at home for the fundraiser.
“It was very emotional as she was quite nervous, but her hair looks great. She had a total of 15 inches cut off;” said Lisa.
Zara added: “I felt scared, excited and a little worried when I had my hair chopped but I kept thinking about how my hair and the money raised could help so many people.”
Explaining why Zara wants to help the PPBF, Lisa said: “As well as having treatment in Southampton myself, we have many friends who have benefited from PPBF support in Southampton. Also, one of the flats, Aggie’s Burrow, is named in memory of Zara’s school classmate’s sister, who sadly passed away with Neuroblastoma in May 2014. These flats help families in our community during very difficult times, Zara really wants to help them too.”
Jo Priaulx, Founder of the PPBF said: “As a charity with no government funding, your sponsorship means a great deal to the PPBF and the families we help. Thank you so much for this amazing fundraiser, Zara, you’re such a special girl.”
A JustGiving page was set up to see if Zara could raise enough money to ‘Buy a Night’ for the PPBF to help local families needing somewhere safe to stay when t their children are being treated off-island.
Zara was looking to raise £60 to Buy-A-Night. “Due to the extreme kindness of donators, I increased my target to purchase 5 nights, which has also been reached. I’d now like to see how many more nights I’m able to raise to help this amazing charity that works with children. I can put my fundraiser on the PPBF’s online Buy-A-Night calendars for all to see, I can pick a flat, choose the dates and personalise my messages on the stars. Showing my support to the families in the flats. Thank you to everyone who sponsors me,” said Zara.