Carnforth teenager is fundraising to support Help for Heroes as he cuts his long locks to create a wig for a child undergoing cancer treatment

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A determined teenager who has grown his hair for three years to help two charities is aiming to reach £10,000 by the time he has his head shaved by his mum this Sunday.

Matt Roberts from Carnforth is fundraising to support Help for Heroes and his long locks will create another wig for a child undergoing cancer treatment.

This is the second time Matt, 15, has swerved the scissors in aid of the Little Princess Trust – when he was at primary school, he grew his hair for two years.

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Not only did he challenge himself to grow his hair even longer, he has also raised around £8,500 so far, despite having to stand up to bullies.

Matt Roberts.Matt Roberts.
Matt Roberts.

Matt’s hair transformation is taking place this Sunday, December 10, at The Legion, Carnforth, at 2.30pm, alongside his fundraising Christmas craft fair which opens at 10.30am.

Matt’s unwavering kindness started when his much-loved grandad, known as ‘Pop Pop’ - became ill and later died from lung cancer.

Matt was determined to do his bit to help so at nine-years-old, approached him mum, Nicole, with the idea of growing his locks for two years and then donating it to make a real-hair wig for a young person going through illness.

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Matt said: “Then I decided to grow my hair for three years so a longer wig could be made. It has been difficult at times, I’ve been bullied - called names and physically bullied but I was determined to never give up.”

Matt Roberts hair growth after three years.Matt Roberts hair growth after three years.
Matt Roberts hair growth after three years.

“The best bit is that I’ve been able to help people through supporting two charities, the worst is comments that people make without thinking what they're saying. Sometimes it can be hurtful. But I’ve learnt to ignore them now.”

The year 11 at Carnforth High School and is a keen scuba diver his spare time, added: ““My ‘Pop Pop’ was a Sergeant Major in the Prince of Wales’s Own regiment and served for 22 years. I was very close to my him and he would tell me lots of war stories.

“I also have an uncle who served in the Army who suffers with PTSD. We’ve been a military family for generations, so I wanted to raise awareness to help veterans and their families thrive after service. I think I will keep doing charity work after this, it’s all about helping others and I like doing it.”

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Looking ahead to Sunday, when his mum, Nicole Debnam – a hairdresser – shaves his head and his new look is revealed, Matt said: “I’m not nervous about losing all my hair, I’m just happy to be able to give it to someone who needs it. I know my mum and family are really proud. People keep telling me I should be proud too. But I'm just doing it to help.”

Matt has been massively supported by his family and his local community and has already smashed his £7,500 target through a host of fundraising events including Carnforth Carnival, tombolas, coffee mornings and regular craft fairs held by his grandma and grandpa, Vicky and Tommy James.

His brothers Josh and Lucas, as well as other family members have been by Matt’s side at fundraising events too and his teachers have been supportive.

Matt added: “Everyone has been really great especially my grandma and grandpa for making all the crafts. My mum is the one I talk to when people say things without thinking, and she has helped keep my hair looking good.”