A BRAVE Ayr lad is taking on his first hair cut in seven years to raise money for charity.

Eight-year-old Orlando Paludetto is taking on the cut to raise money for Whiteleys Retreat, with his locks being donated to the Little Princess Trust, who make wigs to children who have lost their hair due to illness.

The youngster has been growing his hair since he was one, and had originally planned on having his next haircut around his 18th birthday. A change of heart has meant he is due to have the cut before his ninth birthday in August.

He wanted to do something for a charity that supports children, which brought him to raise the money for Whiteleys Retreat, but he didn’t want his hair to go to waste.

Orlando’s mum, Luciana, says the idea came about pretty quickly, but Orlando set out his targets straight away.

She said: “He wanted to raise £3,000 which we know was a lot of money, especially because we don’t know a lot of people from here, but already we’ve had an amazing response and support from people who seem to have been captured by it.

“It’s amazing to see the support. I don’t know if people are engaged because it might be a bit unusual for a young boy to have quite as long and fantastic as his.”

The plan is for Orlando to shave his hair when he reaches the £3,000 mark, or around his birthday on August 30 – whichever comes first.

Luciana had taken part in a similar donation a few years ago when she also donated some of her hair, so Orlando was keen to follow in his mum’s footsteps.

She, and her partner, had also taken up various fundraising efforts before Orlando was born, so Luciana is hopeful that her son can catch the fundraising bug too.

She added: “To start with, he wasn’t too sure if people would donate to him for cutting his hair.

“He never wanted his next haircut to be him just going into a barber and that was it, he always wanted his next haircut to be meaningful and to benefit people in whatever way he could. He wanted to raise some money and he’s seen people donating their hair, so hopefully when this is all done he wants to take on more fundraising activities and continue to good for people who need some help.

“I’m so proud of him, he’s an amazing kid and his dad and everyone else is so proud of his decision to do this and to help the other kids”.

Orlando plans to shave around half of his hair off, perhaps saving the rest for a future donation – or for his 18th birthday.

You can donate to Orlando’s cause by visiting his page at the link below.

Just visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/luciana-paludetto2