STRONG – HAIR DONATE CUMBRIA CAMPAIGN: Helping Children & Young People with Cancer
An inspirational mother-of-two is using her own battle with cancer to launch a new campaign to help young sufferers who lose their hair as a result of treatment. Sam Clementson, 34, of Carlisle, was diagnosed with terminal cancer while pregnant. It was devastating news – but she always vowed to keep fighting. After giving birth a month-and-a-half early by caesarean section, she resumed treatment to prolong her life as much as possible
Now she and husband Ben have teamed up with breast cancer survivor Sandra Jones, who set up her own wig boutique, Wigsense following her treatment. Together, in association with the Little Princess Trust charity they are today launching the Strong – Hair Donate Campaign across Cumbria. Aimed at both individuals and hairdressing businesses, it urges people to donate their hair to the charity – who will then use it to make wigs for young cancer sufferers.
These wigs, which would otherwise cost about £2,000 to buy, are then donated free by the Little Princess Trust to children and young people who lose their hair as a result of their treatment. The trio are today appealing to hairdressers across the county to get involved by backing the Strong – Hair Donate Cumbria Campaign.
Taking part is simple. Just collect hair donations that fit criteria – many of which would just be swept up and thrown away – on behalf of the charity and help make a difference. Pretty much anyone, including males and females, can donate hair to the campaign, provided it is longer than 7 inches/17 centimetres and in good condition. The campaigners hope that by getting as many Cumbrians on board as possible, the county can play a big part in helping young people affected by cancer
Sam said: “Coming up with the concept was a lightbulb idea while I was actually getting my hair shaved off. Losing your hair can feel like losing a part of yourself. It’s hard enough for an adult to understand, never mind a young child. This will give them some sense of normality and making it more fun as the children could potentially pick their own hair colour, length and style. Hair dressers will sweep up so much good hair at the end of each working day…. We could use this to make some child smile again”.
Sandra, 48, who runs her Wigsense business from her Carlisle home, adds: “What an amazing idea. We want to get the message out there that sadly children and young people are diagnosed with cancer, and it can be very sad when their hair falls out.
“So let’s help as much as we can – just by having our hair cut. The impact hairdressers can have on this campaign is amazing so please get involved. Together we can start making a difference knowing we are helping families and raising awareness in Cumbria.”
Sandra was diagnosed with an aggressive type of breast cancer in March 2011, and made redundant from her job around the same time. Her experience as a patient inspired her to launch Wigsense – which is how she came to work closely with the Little Princess Trust
She says: “My mission is to make a difference in the lives of people and their families, including children and young people, who are affected by cancer in Cumbria – and raise awareness of the impact that a cancer diagnosis can have on everyone concerned.
“Over the past three years I have supported a number of children and young people and their families at Wigsense and worked closely with The Little Princess Trust charity. I have brought a smile to so many faces at such an emotionally difficult time and now I am appealing to the people of Cumbria to help extend that to even more young people.”
Monica Glass, from the Little Princess Trust, adds: “On behalf of all the children connected with the Little Princess Trust, I would like to thank sincerely all the Cumbrian hairdressers that are choosing to be part of this wonderful campaign.
“The Little Princess Trust receives no formal funding and relies solely on the efforts of individual fundraisers and on those that donate their hair.
“It takes around three to five hair donations to make just one wig. So any contributions made will be very gratefully received. On behalf of the poorly boys and girls that we assist, thank you for helping to put a smile back on their faces at such a difficult time.”
Suitable hair types for donations:
• Clean hair in good condition from males and females, and of any colour
• Containing the odd grey (less than 10%)
• Coloured, bleached/highlighted
• Layered (shortest layer must be 7ins/17cm)
The wigs produced from the donations are given away free by the charity. They are manufactured in particularly small sizes, and can cost up to £2,000 each.
Please note that the charity does not have any special relationships with any particular hairdressers with regard to covering the cost of the hair cut. Therefore the charge for this remains the responsibility of the hair donor.
The Little Princess Trust is proud to confirm that it does not under any circumstances sell donated hair.
To find out more contact
Sandra Jones on 07999 442555 or email@example.com