A BRAVE 12-year-old girl has decided to have her flowing locks shaved off to raise funds for cancer research in memory of her mother who died from the disease.

Poppy Harrison, who lives in Slingsby, wanted to do something after watching a television programme about a girl battling cancer.

She said: “My mum, Jane, died in 2007 when I was six. I want to cure cancer and by raising money for Cancer Research we are one step closer to doing that.

“A lot of people have to go through similar situations, which is awful.

“It is something that means a lot to me and I want to do something to help, rather than caring what I look like.”

Poppy, who is a Year Eight pupil at Ryedale School, has already raised about £400. She said she was nervous but felt she was doing the right thing.

“I want to do something to raise awareness of cancer research in the UK in memory of my mum and I think she would be really proud of me.”

Poppy’s mum passed away in April 2007 from skin cancer, aged 51.

Born in Hovingham, Jane’s family had emigrated to South Africa for a short time when she was a teenager before moving back to England.

Later going in to the hotel trade, she met Poppy’s dad, Stuart, in Richmond and the couple moved to Ryedale in the mid-1990s where they ran the Green Man and Talbot hotels in Malton, before Jane became ill.

Stuart said he had been quite surprised when Poppy mentioned getting her head shaved but was very supportive.

He said: “I’m not bothered in the slightest, although I think her older brother, James, is a bit concerned as he is protective of her.

“It is her way of helping others and I am very proud of her, as I know her mum would be.”

Poppy’s head shave was due to take place at The Grapes pub in Slingsby last night.

Landlady Catherine Spooner said they wanted to do all they could to support her.

She said: “Poppy has organised everything off her own back and we were more than happy to help her fundraising. This is such a brave thing to do for someone so young and we feel she needs to get the recognition and support – she is amazing.”

Anyone who would like to sponsor Poppy or make a donation can do so at The Grapes or by phoning 01653 628076.