Shave to Save: Collier Row woman will cut waist-length hair to raise funds for Hornchurch charity
PUBLISHED: 15:00 15 May 2019
A woman from Collier Row is going to be shaving off her waist-length hair to raise funds for a well-known Hornchurch charity.
Claire Winnett, 33, from Chigwell View has joined the keen fundraisers looking to support First Step in Tangmere Crescent.
The charity supports youngsters with disabilities and recently announced that it was at risk of closure due to lack of funds.
Claire's nine-year-old son Leo attended First Step in 2010 when he was diagnosed with autism.
Claire will be shaving her waist-length hair on Leo's birthday on June 17 in the hopes that she can raise £500 for the charity.
She told the Recorder: "They gave us so much support when he first started attending First Step.
"I had no idea what autism was at first. I was in shock, so it was so good to be around other people and families in the same situation.
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"I don't know what I would have done without them."
Made up of nearly 40 volunteers, 10 full-time staff and three full-time volunteers, First Step lost funding from the local authority in 2017. It has had to dip into its charity reserves ever since.
"I'm a bit of an impulsive person and it just popped into my head to cut off my hair to raise funds," said Claire.
"[My hair] is really long, it's more or less the first thing people notice about me.
"I've had the same hair since I was a baby. I've never had it shorter than shoulder length and the last time I had it cut was when Leo was at First Step.
"I'll be getting the same haircut as Leo, so we'll be matching.
"It will be a big change but if it helps First Step in any way to support another family, then that's great. My hair will grow back."
Claire will also be donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust, a charity that collects hair donations and uses them to create wigs for children with cancer.
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