A caring schoolboy went to great lengths to fundraise in memory of his grandparents – who died of heart attacks – by having his 20-inch locks chopped off for charity.
Twelve-year-old Tony Morrison grew his hair down his back for two years before asking for it to be cut to generate cash for the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as a tribute to his grandad Raymond Morrison (56), grandma Mary Malley (77) and step-grandad Douglas Ross (50).
The Maddiston Primary pupil’s kind deed was two-fold, though, as he also vowed to send his leftover locks to the Little Princess Trust which makes real-hair wigs for children and young adults who have lost their own through treatment for cancer or other illnesses.
Tony’s new look was completed by hairdresser Portia Courtnell at Shine Hair Design on Grahams Road, Falkirk the night before his P7 prom.
As well as it being a hit with his classmates, the freshly snipped do also enabled the Maddiston youngster to smash through his £500 fundraising target.
His mum Sasha, whose ten-year-old son Aythan was born with a heart murmur, was touched when she learned Tony was planning to go to such extremes to support a cause which the Morrison family holds dear.
She said: “I’m so proud of him. Tony’s up to £531 just now on his JustGiving page and he’s just over the moon.
“He was really excited to go into school and tell everybody his goal was going to be reached.
“He’s grown it for a couple of years and decided himself to grow it out to pass on to the Little Princess Trust.
“My step-dad was only 50 when he died, it was totally unexpected. One year before my dad died from a heart attack aged 56.
“He lost his grandma in 2013 and tragically both his grandfathers within a year of each other to heart attacks.”
Now her son is happily adorning his new do, Sasha says Tony is glad he made the decision to follow in family tradition and part with his hair all for a worthy cause.
She continued: “He’s really enjoying his new hairstyle. It’s so much less hassle for him.
“Myself and my mum had donated our hair to the Little Princess Trust before.
“We hope it makes a difference for someone else.”
The BHF has helped to halve the number of people dying from heart and circulatory disease in the UK yet sadly every day hundreds of people lose their lives.
Chrish Perera, head of field operations at the BHF, said: “We never cease to be amazed by the brave and extraordinary ways people like Tony fundraise for the British Heart Foundation and we’re incredibly grateful to hear that he has managed to raise more than £500.
“We urgently need more people to join Tony to help beat heartbreak forever and power our life-saving research into heart and circulatory disease, which affects an estimated 700,000 people in Scotland. That’s why we’re calling on everyone across Scotland to organise their own fundraising event to help support our vital work.”
A spokeswoman for the Little Princess Trust said: “We are always particularly touched to hear about boys and men who have decided to grow their hair and donate it to the trust.
“A huge heartfelt thank you goes out to Tony Morrison for choosing to donate his amazingly long hair!
“We hope that Tony’s donation will help raise awareness of our plight to provide real-hair wigs for all children and young people and perhaps his actions will inspire others to do the same.
“We are particularly thrilled to hear that Tony is donating 20 inches of hair as the charity has a current need for longer hair donations of at least 12 inches.
“Every day we receive letters and emails from families that we have helped and it is thanks to donors like Tony that we are able to provide this invaluable service.”
Tony’s online donation page will stay open for the rest of the month to further boost the final total.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/Tony-Morrison.