Young Citizen: Ilford’s Zara, 11, raises £3,000 and donates 17 inches of hair to charity

PUBLISHED: 17:09 31 July 2017

Zara Mirza has raised more than £3,000 for the Little Princess Trust. Photo: Faraz Mirza

Zara Mirza has raised more than £3,000 for the Little Princess Trust. Photo: Faraz Mirza


An 11-year-old girl, who grew her hair for two years to help cancer-stricken children get wigs, is this week’s Young Citizen Award nominee.

Zara Mirza, of Colombo Road, Ilford, donated 17 inches of her hair to the Little Princess Trust earlier this month, and raised more than £3,000.

The charity provides real hair wigs to youngsters who have lost theirs due to cancer treatment.

Zara is this week’s Recorder/Redbridge Rotary Club Young Citizen Award nominee, which seeks to recognise the brilliant youngsters in our borough.

The Eastcourt Independent School pupil first found out about cancer, when her aunt Sairah got diagnosed two years ago, and lost her hair during chemotherapy.

Zara, who was nine at the time, said: “I asked her about cancer, and she explained it was not just adults but also children who got ill and lost their hair.”

Faraz, 44, Zara’s father, explained she immediately told her parents she wanted to fundraise and help these children – and they identified the Little Princess Trust.

“You could either donate seven inches, for short hair and boys hair, but the charity said they really needed long hair donations and so Zara decided to keep growing her hair,” Faraz said.

And the passionate Zara ended up growing it for two years.

“Before the cut I was nervous, but I knew it was going to make such a big difference and go towards a good cause,” she said.

Zara had her hair cut for free at Toni & Guy, in High Road, Ilford, on July 8, and was able to donate 17 inches of it to the Little Princess Trust.

She is now proudly sporting a bob.

Zara has now raised more than £3,000 for the charity, which Faraz said has been “absolutely amazing”.

The award is run by the Recorder in conjunction with Redbridge Rotary Club, and sponsored by The Exchange shopping centre, Ilford, which will provide each monthly winner with a £30 gift card.

The Young Citizen of the Year will be crowned at next year’s Mayor’s Community Awards.

You can nominate any person from Redbridge, as long as they are under 25, by emailing

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