Keeley, 8, to cut off her hair to raise money for disabled children and adults

papworth-keeleyAn eight year-old girl from Cambridgeshire who has been growing her hair for three years is having it cut off to raise hundreds of pounds for charity.

Keeley Thomas, who has Down’s Syndrome, is doing the act of kindness on World Down’s Syndrome Day (Saturday 21 March) to raise awareness of the condition and to support three charities.

She will have at least 18 inches of her hair, which goes to down to the tops of her legs, snipped off in front of her family and friends at a local pub. Her mum Lindy has also been growing her hair for three years and will have the chop alongside her daughter.

Kind-hearted Keeley is having her big haircut to raise funds for charity Papworth Trust’s OWL Centre in Sawston,Cambridgeshire, which supports disabled adults to gain new life and work skills through activities such as a social enterprise café and bike recycling project. She is also fundraising for the Follow Your Dreams charity, which inspires children with learning disabilities to follow their dreams.

Keeley will donate her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which provides real hair wigs to children who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment.

Her mum Lindy Thomas says, “Keeley is very kind; at school if anyone falls over she’ll be the first there to see if they are ok and to give them a hug.

“Her hair just grows and grows, so we thought we would grow it to a decent length and donate it to the Little Princess Trust rather than just throw it away. And while we’re at it, raise some money for some good charities.

“We hope to raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome too. A lot of people don’t understand what it is. It’s a fear of the unknown. They are not educated about what it is, so they tend to shy away from people who have it or can sometimes be horrible to them.

“But it’s just one extra chromosome. Keeley is a beautiful little girl who just happens to have Down’s Syndrome. She runs around playing, dancing, reading, doing most things that 8 year olds do. Her friends at school just accept her as Keeley, not a child with a disability.”

Keeley says, “I’m having my hair cut for charity. I love kind people.

Andrea Chupacova, Community Fundraiser at Papworth Trust said, “We are very impressed with the lengths Keeley is going to raising funds for disabled children and adults. The funds for our OWL Centre will really help to make a difference to people’s lives.

“Here at charity Papworth Trust, we are celebrating World Down’s Syndrome Day on 21 March by encouraging people to carry out acts of kindness just like Keeley’s. We hope that by doing this we will not only spread kindness but also raise awareness of Down’s Syndrome.”

Keeley is aiming to raise £1,000 and you can sponsor her at: www.justgiving.com/teams/keeleysshortcut3

This is the second time Keeley has cut her hair for charity; she first had the chop back in 2012, raising over £2,000.

Papworth Trust is encouraging people to take a photo or film a video of their act of kindness, and to share it with them on their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/papworthtrust or Twitter page: @Papworth_Trust

To find out more, go to www.papworthtrust.org.uk/wdsd

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