A Sudbury teenager is preparing to have all her hair shaved off for two charities close to her heart.
Niamh Dines, from Chantry Close, came up with the hair-raising idea to lose her long blonde locks in an effort to help Home Start South Suffolk and District and the Mouth Cancer Foundation.
“It is quite a weird thing for somebody my age to do, but the idea just came into my head,” said 15-year-old Niamh.
“I know I should be scared but I am more excited than anything else.”
Niamh has chosen to help both charities after they helped her family.
Her mother Katherine received dedicated assistance from Home Start – a charity which supports struggling parents with young children – 10 years ago and now volunteers for the group.
A relative has recently under gone a battle against oral cancer.
“I want to do this because I feel it is a selfless act, but it will be self-rewarding in the end,” said Niamh.
“I just want to get on and do it even though people have said they think I am mad.
“Home Start helped mum when she was bringing up three girls under five and now she is giving something back, which makes me very proud of her.”
Niamh, who lives with her sisters Charas, 14, and Harleygh, 12, and is home taught, said she was pleased to be helping charities which were less well known.
“It was very upsetting and a shock to find out a member of the family had got cancer,” she said.
“That is part of the reason for doing this and hopefully these charities will really benefit from what I am doing and appreciate it.”
Fanboo hair salon in Sudbury’s Borehamgate Precinct has agreed to shave Niamh’s head for free on Thursday, August 29 and is running a collection pot to help her fundraising.
Once Niamh’s hair has been cut off, it will be sent to the Little Princess Trust, which provides wigs for children fighting cancer.
Mum Katherine, who has volunteered at Home Start since 2010 and helped support three families, said she admired her daughter’s determination to go ahead with the head shave.
“At first, I was a bit shocked and taken aback by the idea,” she said.
“Teenagers are so impressionable and conscious of fashion and the views of their peers, but Niamh is sticking by her convictions.
“Home Start helps lots of families in difficulty and all the support is vital.”
Miss Dines, who works at Sainsbury’s in Cornard Road, added that the group had around 60 volunteers but was always looking for more.
To donate to Niamh, go to mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/niamhdines1 or uk.virginmoneygiving.com/niamhdines.
For more information on the charity go to www.littleprincesses.org.uk.