An 11-year-old boy who grew his hair 13 inches long had it cut off at the weekend – after raising more than £1,300 to support veterans with health conditions into employment.
Jayden Dudley wanted to raise funds for The Poppy Factory’s service because his dad, Kyle, is in the Army, and the family have friends who have needed support after leaving the Forces.
Jayden started growing his locks at the age of eight, and made his long-awaited trip to his local barber in Preston on Saturday, May 8th.
Friends in the Forces
Jayden’s mum, Kayla, said: “It’s a cause that’s close to Jayden’s heart because his dad is in the Royal Logistics Corps. We have friends who have been on tour. Jayden understands that sometimes people come back with mental health challenges and might need support.
“Jayden’s had loads of support from his school, his football team, and our friends all over the country and as far away as Australia. I’m really proud of him for doing this and for smashing his target.”
Jayden’s hair is being sent to the Little Princess Trust, which provides real-hair wigs to children and young people who have lost their own hair through cancer treatment or other conditions.
He has also beaten the £1,000 target on his JustGiving page, and the funds raised there will help veterans with health conditions rebuild their lives with employment support.
Jayden’s haircut comes as dozens of fellow fundraisers press ahead with their own challenges through The Poppy Factory’s spring sponsorship campaign, The Great May Escape. By focusing on their own wellbeing through regular activity like running, walking, cycling or even meditating, participants can feel great and change veterans’ lives.
Deirdre Mills, Chief Executive of The Poppy Factory, said: “I’d like to thank Jayden for his dedication in patiently growing his hair, his generosity in supporting wounded, injured and sick veterans, and his success in smashing his fundraising target. His efforts will be an inspiration to all those who have set their own personal challenges this month as part of The Great May Escape.”
A short video filmed outside the barber’s afterwards has been posted on Facebook as a thank you to Jayden’s supporters.
Jayden said: “Thanks for donating across the world, from England to Australia – friends of friends and families of friends as well. Thank you so much.”