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Youngster loses long locks in aid of children’s charity

Sophia Esler, Molly Ollys

A nine-year-old girl from Alcester had 15 inches lopped off her hair to help children with life-threatening illnesses in the UK.

Sophia Esler was nervous about doing it, but she wants to help children who have lost their hair through illnesses like cancer. She has so far raised more than £1,000 for the Warwick-based charity, Molly Ollys and she will be donating her hair to the Little Princess Trust so they can make wigs for children who have lost their hair.

Sophia’s mum Annie, who volunteers for Molly Ollys, said; “Sophia has been to charity events with me. She wants to help children less fortunate than her and this is her way of doing that. She is scared as she has never had short hair, but she is hoping she will like it shorter for the summer.”

Sophia said; “My friends are all shocked that I am doing this as I have always had long hair, but I want to help children less fortunate than me. I think Molly Ollys is amazing because the Charity makes wishes come true for children who have been very unwell.”

Sophia’s original target was £500 which is the average cost of a wish that Molly Ollys delivers for a child. The wishes can be anything from a climbing frame to an ipad to a day trip or Amazon vouchers. Each wish is an individual as the child.

The founder of Molly Ollys, Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “I am very proud of Sophia. For her to have raised more than £1,000 is just fabulous. This money will make such a difference to the children we support. Sophia is helping to make the dark days brighter for families facing the most terrifying health challenges. Thank you very much.”

Sophia’s hair was cut at Jag Hair Studios in Alcester by Alex Banks after school on Friday, July 15th.

To donate to Sophia’s fundraising page, go to

Sophia Esler, Molly Ollys

More about the charity

Molly Ollys was set up following the experiences of Molly over the 5 years she received treatment for kidney cancer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.

Between 2017 and 2020, the charity funded Birmingham’s first paediatric palliative consultant as there was no such consultant for the region. That position has now become permanent and is currently funded through the NHS.

The charity works alongside the NHS to support projects within the hospitals and the community. One key project was the creation and refurbishment of Magnolia House at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. This is a safe and non-clinical space where medical teams and families can have important discussions.

The charity is well-known for its therapeutic toy lion, Olly The Brave, which has its own Hickman line and a detachable mane. The soft toy helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack which includes a six-part book series. For more info, please visit