A YOUNG girl who was inspired to help children suffering with medical conditions has gone above and beyond to raise a huge amount for charity by parting with 13 inches of her hair.

Eliana Dunlop, who has just turned nine years old, was supported by her friends, family and local businesses to raise an impressive £1,300 - or £100 per inch of her hair - for the Little Princess Trust.

The charity provides real hair wigs for under 24 year-olds who’ve lost their hair due to cancer treatment and other conditions, and also funds research into more effective treatments for childhood cancers.

Ellie, who lives in Awre and goes to Newnham St Peters School, bravely faced the chop at The Hair Galleries in Newnham last week.

With the help of mum Lisa, she has worked hard over just a few weeks to fundraise from sponsors, as well as hosting a coffee morning and raffle, to which local businesses donated a range of prizes.

Lisa described Ellie as “an amazing little girl” following the “selfless” fundraiser and says she has been “overwhelmed” by the support she has received, with this her first ever time raising money for charity.

It all came about because of a visit from a friend, Raine of local estate agents Ferrinos, around three weeks ago.

Lisa explained: “She told Eliana all about how she was contemplating donating her hair to The Little Princess Trust, and then went on to tell Ellie all about the charity and the wonderful things that they do.

“As soon as Raine left, Ellie looked at me and said “mum, I’m doing that!”.

“So, we booked her into The Hair Galleries in Newnham to have a trim to ensure her hair was in good enough condition, ordered a fund raising pack from The Little Princess Trust and she was off with her sponsorship form to start to raise her funds.” 

Ellie’s first target was £150, which is enough to pay for a child to have a wig consultation, but she soon raised the bar when the first donations came in.

“Within a few sponsors it was obvious that she was going to smash her first target and so we reset the new target at £550, as this pays for a wig to be made”, Lisa said.

“Ellie asked what other ways we could raise money and so we organised a coffee morning, with only 10 days to advertise, and a raffle to which we managed to get five great prizes, four of which were from local businesses such as Doggie Styles Dog Grooming, a gift set from Forest Naturals, a set of nails from Balanced Beauty and Fitness and a child’s hair cut from The Hair Galleries Newnham, the last prize being a bottle of prosecco and a box of chocolates.

“Ellie had a great turnout to the coffee morning and raised £280 and a further £100 on the raffle.

“She has been overwhelmed by her fundraising as this is her first ever real go at such an event.

“She has researched and researched The Little Princess Trust and is in awe of all the amazing things they do. Her final dream was to raise £700 which would pay for a child to see the consultant and have the wig made, along with donating her hair, meant that she put a child through the whole process.

“Ellie smashed that target and raised £1300 with JustGiving and donated 13” of hair.” 

Ellie and Lisa also gave “a special thank you to The Hair Galleries in Newnham for donating the cut and again to Raine at Ferrinos for giving Ellie the aspiration to do something courageous.”