Pupil sheds half a metre of hair to raise money for charity

Watford Observer: Amy Derrick with Mayor of St Albans Annie Brewster Amy Derrick with Mayor of St Albans Annie Brewster

A pupil from a school in Bushey has raised more than £2,000 for two different charities after cutting off 50cm of her hair.

Amy Derrick, a year 9 pupil at St Margaret's School, had her chair chopped off on Saturday to raise money for the Michael Green Foundation.

The charity was founded by Joanne Green after her husband Michael died suddenly in 2012 from a heart attack due to complications arising from Type 2 diabetes, at the age of 53.

Amy said she is "overwhelmed" at the support she has received.

The 14-year-old said: "I was nervous before the cut but I knew that I really wanted to do it.

"During the cut I had my eyes closed with my hands over my face, and suddenly I felt no weight on my head and it was gone.

"The smile didn’t come off my face that whole day.

"It felt so strange, every time I passed a mirror I had to take a double take because I thought someone was following me.

"I still can't recognise myself, I look so much older it's actually quite scary."

Amy also donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity which uses real hair to make wigs for children who have lost their hair as a result of cancer treatment.

The haircut took place at HOB Salons in Radlett and was attended by the Mayor of St Albans Annie Brewster, who made a speech where she spoke about Amy's selflessness in donating to two charities. 

Amy continued: "It's really overwhelming how such a tiny idea, which set me quivering in my boots asking my mum if anyone would sponsor me, has turned into the biggest milestone in my life so far by a long way.

"It's really heart warming and lovely to know that so many people have supported me and the Michael green foundation through this and I hope this money makes a difference to the charity and the people they help."

Amy’s mum Sally said she was "extremely proud" of her daughter.

The 49 year-old GP said: "At first I was shocked to hear about Amy’s plan. She was worried no one would sponsor her but the response has been amazing.

"We are really proud. All of her friends have long hair so it is a brave thing to do. Amy is philosophical about it, and knows it will grow back."

Joanne Green, founder and chief executive of The Michael Green Foundation, said: "Never did I expect to be a widow at 51 or my 15 year old daughter to lose her daddy, so if we can raise awareness of this life threatening condition and prevent anybody else from going through the pain of such an unnecessary loss, then Michael will not have died in vain.

"I think that the fact that a year nine student has the humility and understanding to want to do such an amazing gesture supporting two such important causes in diabetes and cancer is something to be recognised in today's society.

"Michael was the most giving and caring individual one could have ever met and to think that there is a 13-year-old girl out there displaying the same generosity of spirit to help ensure his legacy continues by educating and potentially saving lives, is a truly remarkable gesture."

Amy can be sponsored here: www.virginmoneygiving.com/AmyDerrick1

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