School Girl to Chop off her Locks for Charity
21st March 2013
With flowing locks and a big smile, 11-year-old Kaitlin Cocks looks like any normal school girl.
But rather than chatting about her day or hanging out with her friends, she has more important things on her mind – chopping off 25cm of her beautiful brown hair in aid of the Ally Cadence Trust, a charity supporting families affected by spinal muscular atrophy.
The radical cut on 6th April will leave her with a spiky pixie-style hairdo just a few inches long – something of a departure for girls her age. The brave schoolgirl from Sleaford said she wanted to do something to help change the lives of families affected by the devastating illness.
The charity was launched in 2009 by Emma and Karl Humphries after their daughter Ally Cadence died of the condition aged just six months. The trust aims to offer help, advice and equipment to needy families with children suffering from the condition across the UK.
The target this year is to raise more than £30,000 – with the help of the annual Butterfly Ball on 28th September – and to spread the word about the charity’s work.
“I am very excited to have all my hair cut because I know it will make a huge difference to someone’s life,” said Kaitlin, who likes to play her guitar, enjoys street dancing and is captain of the netball team at Church Lane Primary School.
“I felt like it was a really good idea and I’m really excited about having it cut. I don’t know anyone else my age who’s had their hair cut short like that, but I’m not worried at all, I’m quite excited.”
Kaitlin will have the entire length of her ponytail cut off on 6thApril 2013 at Cutting It Hair Salon in Sleaford. Her hair will be saved and donated to the Little Princess Trust which makes wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer treatment.
This will be the first time Kaitlin has been allowed to cut her long hair short since she was born. When she initially raised the idea of getting her hair cut, her mum Abigail Cocks said no, but was she swayed when Kaitlin came up with the plan to do it for charity.
Abigail, 31, said: “I’m so proud of my daughter. The Ally Cadence Trust has been close to Kaitlin’s heart since she was little; the founders are friends of the family so I think she’s always wanted to do something to help. She’s always had very long hair, so her new pixie haircut is going to be a big change. I’m gushing with pride that she’s taking such a bold step at such a young age.”
Emma from the trust added: “We are so impressed with Kaitlin for taking this step; it’s such a big deal for a little girl to go from long and lovely hair to a short pixie cut.
“Seeing support like this, coming from such a young girl, is incredibly heart-warming and helps inspire us to keep going so that as many families as possible can benefit from our support.”
So far almost £240 has been raised for Kaitlin’s haircut, but much more is needed to help the charity. If you would like to sponsor Kaitlin, please visit the Ally Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy website www.actsma.co.uk/home/page/sponsor_kaitlin. Sponsorship forms are also available in the Cutting It hair salon on Market Street in Sleaford.
Notes to editors:
About the Ally Cadence Trust for Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- The trust was set up in March 2009 by Karl and Emma Humphries in memory of their daughter Ally Cadence. It became a registered charity in December 2009
- Since launching it has raised more than £50,000 to help people affected by the disease get access to specialist equipment
- The goal is to raise £30,000 over the next year
- The trust holds an annual Butterfly Ball to raise money. This year’s event will take place at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire on 28th September. Full details can be found here www.actsma.co.uk/Home/Page/ButterflyBall
- Visit www.actsma.co.uk for more information about the charity and www.allycadence.co.uk to read Ally’s story
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a genetic disorder that affects nerve cells so that muscles can't be used and become wasted, or atrophied. The nerve cells become damaged, breaking the link between the brain and the muscles. As a result, the muscles can't be used and waste away. This can lead to problems with breathing as well motor activities such as crawling, walking, feeding and head control.