An 11-year-old girl from Moseley has raised over £1,200 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity after taking the ‘bald’ decision to shave her head.

Just over a year ago, Isabelle (Belle) Ahern noticed that clumps of her long brown hair had started to fall out. Her concerned mum Melanie took her to her GP, where the doctor diagnosed her with Alopecia, the medical term for hair loss.

It was a shock for Belle and her family, but wanting to take control of the situation, Belle decided that rather than wait and watch as her hair fell out, she would much rather shave it all off, and if she was going to do that, why not do it for charity!

Having sadly lost a close family member who was cared for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, it was a no-brainer for Belle to support the hospital charity, and she wanted to use her negative hair loss experience to help provide positive experiences for the hospital’s sick kids.

Melanie was worried about how the Alopecia would affect Belle’s self-confidence but seeing her bold daughter taking it all in her stride filled her with pride.

Aiming high, Belle set herself a target to raise £1,000 before she would brave the shave. With the help of her mum and dad, Thomas, who spread the word among their family, friends and work colleagues, donations began to pick up speed. She also had plans to fundraise at school and at a local coffee shop, but then the country was put under lockdown. With the school closed and the coffee shop’s event cancelled, Belle and her family knew that they needed to change tact and took to social media to share her fundraiser instead.

The online fundraising kept up its momentum and before long Belle had not only reached her target, she smashed it, raising over £1,200! That meant one thing – it was time for her to say goodbye to her long hair. With the family in lockdown, it was down to mum and dad to do the honours, and they made sure to broadcast the buzz live on Instagram, so that all of Belle’s family, friends and supporters could watch.

Belle said: “The hospital is a special place for our family, so I wanted to turn my Alopecia into a good thing and thought shaving my head for charity was the best idea!  I love how it looks and it’s so much easier to look after now, as I don’t have to wash my long hair. Although my head is a bit colder now, it was so worth it!”

Miranda Williams, public fundraising manager at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Go Belle! For a lot of people shaving their head is a scary decision, but not for Belle. We’re absolutely amazed by her courage and positive attitude, and we think she looks great!

“Belle can be happy in the knowledge that the money she’s raised for us will go towards helping us do more for the 90,000 sick children our hospital cares for every single year.”