A NINE-year-old girl from Denholme – who suffers from two health conditions – has raised over £800 for charity after being inspired to cut off her hair and donate it to children who have lost theirs as a result of cancer treatment.

Scarlett Duffy has type 1 diabetes and also suffers from coeliac disease. After watching a video of a young girl who had no hair, due to undergoing chemotherapy, Scarlett was inspired to cut off 15 inches of her own locks, to raise money for diabetes charity JDRF.

In addition to this, she donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which will use it as wig for children and young people who have lost their hair after having cancer treatment.

Before lockdown, a fundraiser for Scarlett was held at Crossley House Bupa Care Home in Bradford, where her grandmother, Dawn Brame, has worked for 11 years.

The fundraiser alone yielded £265, contributing to Scarlett's grand total of £865 – surpassing her original target of £200.

"I wanted to help people like the little girl in the video, because I wouldn’t like that. I also wanted to help raise money for JDRF, so hopefully one day there is a cure," said Scarlett.

As well as using her own health conditions – and the struggles that have come with them – as a source of inspiration, Scarlett also wanted to encourage other children in her position to be more confident.

"If someone is struggling or lacks confidence, then I would tell them to smile and remind them that nobody is alone, we're all in it together," she said.

Scarlett's mum, Natalie, said she was "very proud" of her daughter's efforts.

"Scarlett was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in August 2018 and then coeliac a couple of months later," she said. "It changed everything. It's been tough – it resulted in a massive change in her lifestyle and she had trouble coping with it.

"She got a lot of attention because of it, and some of the other children at school would ask her questions all the time and it affected her confidence.

"People often get confused between type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition, which is when your immune system attacks itself. It's not caused by poor diet or an unhealthy lifestyle – there's nothing she could have done to prevent getting it.

"Scarlett wanted to do this not only to help others, but also to improve her own confidence."