Students' support for Burnley cancer charity

A kind teenager sacrificed her long locks to raise money for a Burnley-based cancer charity.
Ella and ScarletElla and Scarlet
Ella and Scarlet

Student Ella Burke shed almost half her 30in. long hair to raise money for a cancer charity and donated the plaits to make wigs for children.

Ella and friends from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School selected Burnley-based CARES - Cancer Awareness Rapid Early Support - as their local cause to raise awareness of in a school charity challenge.

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Ella (14) from Rawtenstall, said: “I have never had my hair cut properly, only trimmed. I didn’t think what I had agreed to do was that much, but everyone has said it is a lot.”

Stylist at Nigel Christopher Salon in Hargreaves Street, Burnley, Natalie Campione straightened Ella’s hair, separated and plaited it before finally cutting off the 14in. tresses.

She was supported by school friend Scarlet Ruane (13) her mum Lin and fund-raiser and relationship manager with CARES Sharon Froggatt.

Scarlet is also on the team with Ella raising awareness of CARES and her dad, well-known opera singer Sean, lives in Burnley.

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She said: “We wanted to do something for a cancer charity because both of us have a link. I lost my grandmother to cancer and Ella lost a close friend.”

The school challenge will conclude on March 11th, when two winning teams from each class will deliver a presentation in the hope of winning the prize money for their cause.

Scarlet said: “We didn’t have to raise money for the charity as part of the awareness, but we wanted to so that even if we don’t win the charity will receive the money we have raised by Ella having her hair cut.

“Most charities do not get money from the government and rely on people holding fundraising events.”

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More than £500 had been raised before Ella had her hair cut and money is still being donated to her JustGiving page. School friend Helaina Proops (13) is the third member of the school team raising awareness for the charity.

CARES works throughout East Lancashire and Susan said: “We are blown away by what Ella has done, I can’t believe it. It is fantastic that they have made such a large group aware of what the charity does.”

The charity also supports work place champions, by specially training members of staff to raise awareness of cancer and provide help and support to encourage early diagnosis.

To sponsor Ella and her friends log on to