A YOUNG girl who raised more than £1,200 for her best friend has had her efforts recognised with a Proud of Barnsley nomination.
When six-year-old Annie Jones heard about her friend Oliver Howe’s diagnosis with a rare malignant brain tumour, she went a cut above to do something to help – donating her long hair to The Little Princess Trust and raising £1,265 for the hospital looking after him.
Oliver, also six, and a classmate of Annie’s at Summer Lane Primary School, was diagnosed on September 4 and rushed into hospital for an operation.
He’s since had to undergo months of gruelling radiotherapy and chemotherapy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, while his family’s world was ‘turned upside down overnight’.
“When she found out her best friend was not well, she wanted to do something to help and so we came up with ideas,” said mum Kim, 36, of Sackville Street.
“She chose to cut her hair off – she wouldn’t normally do anything like that, she loves her hair.
“And she raised a lot more than any of us expected.
“It’s a lovely thing for a six-year-old to do.”
The pair’s school joined in with the fundraising, sending around £900 to the hospital.
The money raised will go towards ward six, where Oliver has stayed.
It’s allowed the two friends to stay connected through his treatment – but Kim said he was doing ‘really well’ and had been into school occasionally.
“He’s going in for the odd half-day, but they can’t play together because they’re split into different class bubbles,” she said.
“But it makes her happy knowing he’s there and they still see each other.
“They have such a close friendship, and we’re close with Oliver’s parents.
“We’re talking every day and we take little bits around to drop on their doorstep.”
Kim said the nomination – in the Young Superstar category – was ‘brilliant, but quite a shock’.
“We weren’t expecting so much,” she said.
“I’m super proud and she’ll be so happy.
“If it raises a bit more publicity for the hospital, that’s what it’s all about.”