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Charity haircut at Redbridge College Open Day

The Donnelly family awaiting their haircutFormer hairdressing learner, Sara Donnelly, comes back to Redbridge College for charity haircut on Open Day.

Sara Donnelly, her daughters and her mother (also a Sarah) arrived at the Redbridge College Open Day expecting a haircut. There's nothing unusual about this; the onsite Evolution Salons are often frequented by members of the public, and the free trims offered on Open Day are always popular. But what makes the Donnelly's cuts a little different, is that their hair is going the Little Princess Trust.

Sara completed her hairdressing qualifications at Redbridge College earlier this year and has since secured work with Tracey Cole Hair and Beauty, managing the 'hair' element of the business. She explains: "I really enjoyed coming to the college. I had a great time on the course. My teachers here [at Redbridge College] were fantastic, so I organised to do the cut through them."   

When asked what motivated her to undergo the sponsored haircut, Sara quickly pointed out that credit was due to her daughter Casey (age 10). "She was eight at the time…Casey saw a girl in the papers, who'd just had her hair cut off for charity. She said 'I want to do that.'" Sara went on to explain that Casey's hair had been short at the time, so she spent two years growing it out for the event.

Inspired by Casey's brave decision, Sara explains how the rest of the family rallied to support her:  "…Her older sister, Chelsea, said – 'well if you do it, I'll do it.' …I said that I'd do it too and my mother joined us as well… So that's actually three generations of our family doing this for the Little Princess Trust."

When they went under the scissors, the family had already successfully raised £500 for the charity (to be donated alongside the newly cut locks). The Little Princess Trust provides real-hair wigs, free of charge, to children across the UK and Ireland that have lost their own hair through receiving cancer treatment. Romford and Redbridge's own native pop star, Jessie J, is also a Little Princess Trust supporter; notably appearing recently on BBC show, 'The Voice', having donated her hair to the cause following the public shave on Comic Relief. Click here to see the Donnellys getting their charity trim.

The family had recently been through their own ordeal involving cancer, making the experience all the more emotional. Sara's daughters had lost their granddad to cancer shortly before they decided to support the Little Princess Trust, and mum Sara dedicated their efforts to him. After the cut, Sara commented: "We're just overcome with emotions, because we all know why we're doing it."  Donnelly family after the cut at Redbridge College

When asked why she decided to hold the charity haircut at Redbridge College, Sara explained: "I wanted to do it here and not at my salon, because of everything the college has done for me. I've had a really good experience of my college, and if it weren't for all the support my teachers gave me I don't think I would have gone on to take my teaching qualification as well."  Sara is currently pursuing her PTLLS accreditation so that she can pass on her skills to others.

If you're interested learning more about Hairdressing courses at Redbridge College, please click here.