AN inspirational carer has had her longs locks lopped for charity in aid of a cause close to her heart.

The support worker for a pupil at Beaumont Hill Academy, Darlington, Jackie Jackson, braved the scissors to help raise funds for an Acheeva Bed for the specialist school, which supports children with a range of disabilities from profound and multiple learning difficulties to severe and complex needs.

Jackie, 53, who provides the daily health and care requirements for pupil Alfie Bower, said: “Children like Alfie, who have extremely complex health needs, can be in a wheelchair for up to eight hours a day with very little room to move around.

“They need to be able to lie down and stretch out and the Acheeva beds provide the full postural support needed. They are very expensive and although the academy already has some they are quite old and need replacing.”

Fellow Beaumont Hill Academy teaching assistant Jo Longstaff was given the honour of chopping 24 inches off Jackie’s hair, which will be donated to The Little Princess Trust, a UK Charity which provides free real hair wigs to children who have lost their own through cancer treatment or other illnesses.

“I’ve already raised over £400 through my Just Giving page and hopefully a lot more people will support me to help towards the cost of the bed, which is around £4,000,” said Jackie.

“I’d been growing my hair for over five years so it feels a lot different now it’s shorter, but I’m sure it will be a lot easier to manage.”

Beaumont Hill Academy principal Caroline Green added: “We had been applying to a number of charities to help us try to buy a new Acheeva bed but unfortunately had been unsuccessful.

“This is a wonderful gesture from Jackie and all the people who have supported her.”  

To support Jackie’s fundraising log on to: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/jacqueline-jackson-1