A kind-hearted north-east girl has donated more than a foot of her hair to raise money for two charities close to her family’s hearts.
Daisy Sim has raised a share of £300 for the Little Princess Trust and The Leanne Fund after recently having her hair cut at Aberdeen-based salon Harris & Fox.
The 11-year-old, from Stockethill, says she is “elated with her new look” and was inspired to brave the chop after taking a liking to her mum’s short locks.
Mum Donna, who lives with cystic fibrosis, is proud of the charities Daisy selected before having her hair cut.
The 41-year-old has been waiting almost two years for a lifesaving double lung transplant. And after being transferred to the UK urgent list in August last year, her condition hangs in the balance.
She said: “Daisy has never been the type to wear hair bands or anything fancy in her hair.
“I remember her first school nativity where she took off the angel halo hairband, threw it off the stage and then folded her arms in disgust. She always wanted her hair tied up and out of her face.
“As she got older, I tried to put her off getting it cut because her hair was absolutely gorgeous. Plus, I wasn’t sure if she realised how long it would take to grow back if she didn’t like it.
“The downside for Daisy having all that hair was the length of time it took to manage it all. Plus it was thick and heavy.
“We initially had an appointment to get it cut in March 2020 as I agreed she could have a little bit off. However days before Daisy’s appointment, all hair salons went into full lockdown.
“During the first UK lockdown, I gave in and cut off about seven to eight inches of her hair myself with a pair of kitchen scissors.
“It was one of those things to get away from the humdrum of home schooling. Okay, it wasn’t the neatest job, but she was happy with it.
“She immediately Facetimed her cousins to show them. I still have the hair but didn’t think it long enough for the charity.
“Fast forward almost a year and we were in the same position yet again with the hairdressers all closed. This time though, there was light at the end of the tunnel.
“Daisy, another year older was going big this time by getting her hair cut short, short.
“After seeing how easy my hair was to manage after having a pixie cut at the end of 2019, that’s what she wanted too.”
After realising Daisy was serious about braving the chop, Donna explained why the Little Princess Trust and The Leanne Fund would be the perfect charities to raise cash for.
The Trust provides real hair wigs free of charge to children and young adults up to the age of 24 who lose their own due to cancer treatment, while The Leanne Fund works with people suffering from cystic fibrosis and their families.
Donna said: “Daisy is aware of what unwell can really mean with me having cystic fibrosis.
“She was extremely happy that she would be able to do this for someone and I’m rather proud too.
“She was excited and asking most days about getting her hair cut. When the salons opened up again, she was lucky to get an appointment at my hairdresser a few days after me.
“I then had to keep track of the days as she wanted to know exactly how many days she had to wait.
“When in for my haircut with Ryan Harris – owner of Harris & Fox – I explained about the plan for the donation. He then kindly re-shuffled his schedule so that Daisy’s hair could be washed and dried in the salon in preparation.
“This was a godsend because it would really have taken it out of me to wash and dry her hair myself. Something so simple, but with my lung capacity being around 20% it can feel like climbing a mountain.
“We did have last-minute nerves the night before. Daisy didn’t want to let people down and felt she had to go through with it now after everyone donating money.
“I said that she didn’t have to do anything and that she could change her mind at any time. Her hair, her choice. Nobody would judge her.
“I thought I’d get my hair coloured a wacky out of my comfort zone colour since Daisy was taking a big step. This meant she was more at ease with us sitting together, (laughing at my hair).
“We arrived at the salon and Daisy immediately made a B- line for one of the girls who was sporting the latest shag cut trend with green flashes of colour.
“Daisy commented on how her hair was beautiful and of course she was absolutely delighted. She has this knack for making hairdressers, make-up artists or any colourful interesting people who stand out, feel wonderful about themselves.
“I’m sure the stylists were impressed with Daisy having so much cut off.
“I mentioned to Ryan about the last-minute nerves and he was also in agreement that Daisy was under no pressure and could change her mind right up until the last moment.
“I made a little handbag picnic so that I could keep her entertained and happily distracted during the lengthy appointment; a great time was had.
“Ryan has a little dog called Hendrix who sometimes visits the salon, so he was also pencilled into the diary for a visit specifically for Daisy since she loves animals.
“That was such a thoughtful thing to do for her, it’s those little touches you remember in people.
“Truth be told, I was feeling a little sick about it all. I loved her hair, her dad was very uneasy about it, but you have to let your children express themselves and experiment with different looks.
“Some of my friends were in total awe of her decision. My grandma didn’t recognise Daisy and I kept seeing my younger brother as a child when I looked at her.
“She was definitely a bit apprehensive about what her school friends would think, but overall she was excited for the big reveal at school on the Friday.
“The salon had printed out the form for sending the hair and was prepared to send it on our behalf, but I wanted to give Daisy the opportunity to see the task through to the end and posting it herself.”
While Daisy’s hair was sent to the Little Princess Trust, £150 was also donated to both causes.
Donna has considered The Leanne Fund a lifeline charity for her and her family.
“What makes it special is that accessing help is stress-free,” she said. “The hospital completes a request form and there are no lengthily intrusive questionnaires about your financial circumstances.
“Help can be for almost anything, treats to make you feel better after a bad infection, they make up pamper packs for hospital stays which include all the toiletries you could want, as well as drinks, sweets, snacks and a puzzle books book.
“The children’s hospital gets age-specific bags made up for them. Television cards are also supplied free of charge – if you’ve ever been admitted to a hospital or visited a relative, you know how expensive they are.
“Then there’s the exercise equipment and gym memberships to stay active. I’ve had two years’ worth of top-end gym memberships, although I’m too unwell to do this just now.
“I think it being a small charity, run by the parents and family of a young woman who had cystic fibrosis, helps immensely with the whole ethos of the charity.
“They do such a great job. I know I’m not alone when I say that patients and families are extremely grateful and that inspires them to want to give back.
“And on the back of the chop, Daisy is elated with her new look. She hasn’t complained once.
“The long hair complaints were a daily occurrence. All she needs now is some help with styling, products to try and techniques to keep it looking cool.
“The Leanne Fund and the Little Princess Trust sent Daisy certificates to commend her decision to support these two very special charities.
“This has been a great experience for Daisy and hopefully something she will remember and feel proud of in years to come.”