A PLUCKY 16-year-old from Wellesbourne has shed her long locks to help raise money and awareness for a local charity.
Florence Lloyd, a student at King’s High School for Girls in Warwick, has raised more than £450 so far after having her head shaved on Thursday (12th July).
Her hair will be sent to The Little Princess Trust – a charity that supplies and funds real hair wigs to children who suffer hair loss through illness – while proceeds will benefit Warwick-based charity Molly Olly’s Wishes.
The charity was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
It works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.
Florence, who is preparing to study A-levels in September, said: “A lot of the girls in my friendship group had been friends with Molly at Claverdon School and talk about her a lot so it’s as if she is also part of that friendship group, as if she is here.
“From everything I hear I thought she was so brave and had an amazing attitude. And it made me think about how brave all those children are who lose their hair through illness and I wanted to use that to help others.”
She added: “I was very nervous but couldn’t see what they doing at first because they started at the back. It was a very surreal feeling at the end when I saw myself. I looked so different.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet to be honest. It is quite a shock when I wake up in the morning and see myself in the mirror. But I’m proud of myself for going through with it. It looks and feels good actually!”
Florence’s family, including parents Caroline and John and brother Oliver, were all on hand to lend their support at Hair Management at Nuffield Wellbeing Centre on Warwick Gates.
Mum Caroline said: “We’re immensely proud of her. We are partly defined by our hair, especially girls and it’s a massive thing for her to do this.”
Trustee and founder of Molly Olly’s Wishes Rachel Ollerenshaw, said: “Hair loss is often a harder thing to accept than we maybe imagine. I remember when Molly lost her hair for the first time, how uncomfortable it felt for her both physically and emotionally.
“It became coarse and fell out in clumps and obviously changed how she herself and others saw her. Flo’s challenge is very symbolic and certainly makes a statement and draws attention to the issue of hair loss .
“For a girl of her age it is a big thing to do and we are very grateful to her for helping raise money and awareness for Molly Olly’s as well as donating her hair to The Little Princess Trust. Thanks also to Hair Management for their support.”
Donations can still by made here
Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk