Ashleigh, we’re all with you every snip of the way!
Published on: 04 Aug 2014
UNLIKE many 12-year-old girls during the summer holidays, Ashleigh Lovell is not spending hours taming her locks with straighteners.
That's because she has had her lovely long hair chopped off and her head shaved to raise money for Bristol Children's Hospital.
Taking on the challenge has made Ashleigh cool in both senses of the word in the heatwave. A crowd of her friends turned out to witness her being shorn at Coco's salon in Badminton Road close to the end of the summer term.
Her mum and dad, Sue and Kev, were there too and were proud of their daughter's decision to go for the close crop.
“She looks lovely,” said Sue, a phlebotomist at the hospital. “This is an amazing feat for a girl of her age.”
It was after visiting her mum at work that Ashleigh decided she wanted to do something to raise money for the hospital's Grand Appeal.
“I get upset when I see the sick children, and this is a way I can help them. I am lucky to be a happy and healthy 12 year old girl, and I want to help others who are not so fortunate,” she said.
Ashleigh is aiming to raise £2,500 for the Grand Appeal's Jack Banks Star Tribute Fund, which supports the hospital's children's cancer unit.
Jack Banks, whose family, like the Lovells, live in Downend, lost his battle against leukaemia in 2008, when he was nine years old. Ashleigh's brother Tom was in Jack's class at Christ Church Junior School, as was Dan, the son of Coco co-owner Emma Hockings, who carried out Ashleigh's haircut.
Emma, who has run the salon with her partner Jo Boote for nearly ten years, said Ashleigh was very brave.
Jack's mum, Paula Banks, agreed. “I am totally in awe of Ashleigh for having her hair shaved off for the fund and I am so grateful to her and everyone who is supporting her.”
Hannah Wozniak, community and events fundraiser at the Grand Appeal, said: “Ashleigh is a complete inspiration. To do this on behalf of sick children at her young age demonstrates real compassion and we hope that lots of people will show their admiration by making a donation and helping her reach her fundraising target.”
To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/ashleigh-lovell
Jack's fund has recently exceeded £83,000. Supporters raised more than £2,000 by taking part in the Bristol 10k.
Further support has come from Downend WI and from staff at Osborne Clarke in Bristol.
One employee, called Simon, has raised more than £3,000 with a 24-hour walk in the Lake District, which he dubbed One Man and No Dog.
On August 2, a supporter called Gemma is taking part in The Grand Appeal Skydive for the fund.