One of De Montfort Students' Union (DSU)'s kind-hearted cheerleaders is shedding her lengthy locks in the name of charity.
Alisia Houghton, a second-year Dance student, is having her head shaved as part of her ‘Big Hair Chop’ to raise money for Cancer Research.
She said: “My hair’s quite long and I’ll be donating it to the Little Princess Trust, who make wigs for little girls that have got cancer and have lost their hair.
“I’d always wanted to do something. Quite a few years ago my hair was long as well, and I wanted to do it then but never got around to doing it.
“Then I got my hair cut shorter, and let it grow. Now it’s quite long again, I thought I might as well do it now.
“Everyone said they can’t believe I’m doing it and that I’m so brave. There are a lot of people I know that would hate cutting their hair and it is quite a daunting thing.
“The fact that my donation and my hair will make a little girl’s life a lot better is so satisfying.”
Seven years ago, Alisia’s grandparents were both diagnosed with cancer, and after seeing the devastating impact that the disease can have, she decided she wanted to do something to support those that had been affected by it.
She said: “The reason why I’m doing it is because it’s quite close to home for me. It happened to both of my grandparents within a year.
“My grandma had chemo and lost her hair. It was quite shocking and it’s a very vivid thing in my life.
“It happens to so many people. You hear about everyone it’s happened to and it’s such a massive thing, so it’s nice to make a difference, however small.”
Alisia has been supported in her charity efforts by her teammates in the DMU Saints cheerleading squad, helping her to promote what she is doing.
She continued: “Quite a few people on the team have been helping me. Making posters, getting in touch with people for me.
“They’ve all been really supportive and it’s the kind of support I need for cutting my hair off!
“All my close friends are really proud of me. My family are a bit shocked. They knew I was going to donate my hair but when I said I was going to shave it they were all like, ‘woah’.
“But everyone’s just been really supportive. Sharing stuff on Facebook and trying to help me get as many donations as I can.”
Alisia will be having her head shaved during Wednesday’s InJUNCTION at Level 1, and is hoping that people will get behind her to support such a worthy cause.
“I’m sure many people have experienced it, either with a member of their family or friends,” she said.
“I’m doing something to try and help that, so if you’ve ever been touched by that it’d be great for you to support me in cutting my hair off to help.”
Alisia’s original target was £600 but donations have now smashed through that mark.
There will be bucket collectors on hand to receive donations on the night, but you can also donate by visiting the Just Giving page here.