Has your hair gotten too long? Is it weighing you down? Then it’s time to have a haircut and donate to the Little Princess Trust (LPT).
LPT provides real hair wigs to children suffering from cancer and other terminal illnesses. The Trust relies on people like you to donate hair and money to help children. I asked Monica Glass, Charity Manager who has been working at The Little Princess Trust for 6 years, how the trust impacts those helped and what the general public can do to continue supporting them.
I learned the Trust started 10 years ago, in memory of Hannah Tarplee. Hannah was just five years old when she was diagnosed with cancer. After chemotherapy her hair started falling out. This upset her and her parents Wendy and Simon, who decided to locate a wig via connections they had through friends in the hairdressing industry. The wigs they found were expensive, but made Hannah feel more like herself, making it worthwhile. Sadly, Hannah died shortly after her diagnosis, but her parents wanted to do something with the donations they had been given by friends and family. So they set up the Little Princess Trust.
In their first year the charity had 36 good quality wigs made for children, and every year they have continued to give more and more away. Monica explains that behind each wig is a sad story and LPT ease that situation by providing children with wigs seamlessly and repeatedly if necessary. They have now given away over 4,500 real hair wigs to children.
Monica explains that wigs for children can be difficult to find, and sometimes the only option is a synthetic one. This can be very obvious and can indicate to the general public that the child has an illness. The LPT supplies wigs made from real hair that has been donated. It also buys in real hair wigs if the charity does not hold the exact wig that the child wishes in stock. Each wig is tailored to the child in question and is supplied as close to the child’s original hair as possible. The charity ensures the child receives the wig they expressly want, and hope to supply the wig within about two weeks, though this is not always achievable.
Parents and children who have received assistance from the charity explain how the wigs lift everyone’s spirits because it really boosts the child’s confidence when they are feeling at their lowest. When a child looks in the mirror, they recognise the image looking back at them, making them feel more like their old self. Monica explains, the trust offers some privacy to the family in question. The family and child can choose whether or not to tell people about their situation.
The charity receives thousands and thousands of hair donations from the general public, but it always hopes for more. It takes five to seven peoples’ hair donations to make a single wig. This is due to the amount of hair that can be lost in the wig making process. The lifespan of the wigs can be fairly short too. Some may only last four to six months, because ‘children should be able to come home from school and throw their wigs to the floor if they wish to’, in order to support the children lead as normal a life as possible.
I know of friends who have donated their hair and have been inspired to do so because it is clear that the Little Princess Trust provide a much-needed service to children who are really suffering.
If you wish to donate your hair, Monica recommends visiting the Little Princess Trust website for guidelines. Alternatively, if your hair is not long enough, please feel free to make a donation here.
Article by BWV Reporter Ariana Ahmadi