A BIG-HEARTED Portrush teenager has had two feet cut off her crowning glory to raise funds for a cause close to her heart.
The sudden death of her uncle; Ballintoy man George Jamieson at the age of 61 inspired Sasha Tannahill to have her 4ft 5in long blonde locks chopped.
Dominican College student Sasha decided to donate her hair to The Little Princess Trust, a charity which provides free real hair wigs to children and young people who have sadly lost their own hair due to cancer treatment and other illnesses.
Sasha said: “My uncle George died on Christmas Eve three years ago in tragic circumstances; he was known as a gentle giant. During his lifetime he fundraised for cancer charities and his acts of kindness inspired me to follow his example.
“Our family has had its fair share of cancer issues and mum raised an impressive £1,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support last September by holding a coffee morning at our home.”
The 15-year-old recalled: “I decided that the money I raised would go to Solas Moyle which supports mental health awareness and also cancer charities. Solas is dedicated to help others overcome troubled times.
“In the UK alone one in four people will experience a mental health problem every year and it is vital that they have support and someone to talk to, whether a family member or someone from a charity like Solas. Everyone in the world can say they have had a bad day but what is important is that the ‘bad day’ can be resolved.
“Solas Moyle give up their time to make other people's bad days, good. I have so much respect for the work they do.”
“It is vital that those suffering from any kind of mental illness, should have the support and mind-set that they know they can talk to someone, whether it be a family member or even someone that is a part of charities like Solas.
“Everyone in the world can say they have had a bad day…but what is important is that, that ‘bad day’ can be resolved.”
“Solas Moyle’s main aim is to promote a positive health and well-being, in a warm and welcoming environment. Furthermore I can 100% guarantee that, that is the case. Every single staff member in Solas are full of good-spirit and ensure that when you step in their door you are comfortable with your surroundings.
“The staff members are just one big team whose main aim is to offer assistance to those in need. Solas offers various activities ranging from ear acupuncture and meditation to things as simple as a ‘listening ear’! “Another important facility they offer is men’s wellness and stress less for men, in hope that in time more men will feel at ease to walk in Solas’ door and share what’s on their mind.”
After presenting a £1,425 cheque to Solas, Sasha said: “I want to thank my amazing parents Shona and Jimmy and the rest of my family for their support, especially my uncle Chris, as well as Poppi Lennox for giving up her precious time to cut my hair.
“I also would like to thank my teachers and everyone who contributed either through sponsorship or the Justgiving. It's now time to plan our family's next charity event in memory of Uncle George.”