Two Ayrshire schoolgirls have joined forces to support the new Crosshouse Children’s Fund.

Ten-year-old Mara Foster from Stevenston met Melissa Rimmer, eight, of Prestwick for the first time in the foyer of the Ayrshire Maternity Unit last month as they each braved the barber’s chair for the special cause.

The girls, whose mothers both work at Ayrshire Maternity within the hospital campus, had been busy securing sponsorship in the run up to the big day, raising £1,000 and counting.

The fund, which was launched last month by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, will raise money for the hospital’s Paediatric, Maternity and Neonatal Units, supporting babies, children and families from across Ayrshire and Arran by providing enhanced equipment and support services that can help to alleviate the worries of a hospital visit.

Mara’s mum Alexa Foster said: “Mara surprises us all the time and one morning she came downstairs and announced she wanted to cut her hair for charity. She had clearly thought it through, and had already checked in with her Highland dance teacher about how she could wear her new hair style.

“Her hair was very long and thick, so it’s a big change for her and, as a parent, I’m so proud that she wanted to do this to help others and that she chose Crosshouse Children’s Fund. As a midwife here, I think it’s fantastic that the money will benefit families in Ayrshire.”

Melissa’s mum, Linda Rimmer added: “This is something Melissa has talked about doing for some time and, when I found out from Alexa that Mara was planning to do it to raise money for Crosshouse Children’s Fund, it seemed the perfect opportunity for them to link up.

“We kept in touch about their plans and the girls met for the first time on the day of their haircuts, after securing more than £1000 in sponsorship. They’re both thrilled with how it all went and are becoming good friends.”

Each year at University Hospital Crosshouse, almost 8,000 babies, children and young people are treated within the Paediatrics Department; more than 4,000 within Maternity Services; 500 at the Neonatal Unit and almost 13,000 are seen in the Emergency Department (ED).

Shona Cardle, chief executive at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We are delighted to have extended our work to support children and their families from across Ayrshire in recent weeks. The efforts of young people like Mara and Melissa will help teams at Crosshouse achieve more for the children and families in their care. They are a credit to their communities and we send them both our heartfelt thanks for all their efforts.”

The girls’ haircuts were provided free of charge by Troon salon owner Cheryl Mason and the hair will be passed on to the Little Princess Trust to provide real hair wigs to children and young people with hair loss.

To show your support for Crosshouse Children’s Fund, please call 01292 435 197 or visit