A 13-year-old girl from the Louth area will be losing her locks next weekend to help fund a permanent memorial to her cousin Katie Rough (7), who was brutally stabbed to death near her home last month.
Katie’s tragic and untimely death shocked the nation last month, after she was discovered with fatal injuries in a playing field near her home in Woodthorpe, York, on January 9.
A 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has been charged with her murder.
Now, Katie’s cousin Amy Gilpin, who attends King Edward VI Grammar School, has decided to spearhead a campaign to raise money for a permanent memorial for Katie by having up to 15 inches of her hair cut off at an upcoming fundraising event.
Amy’s mum and Katie’s auntie, Elizabeth Gilpin, told the Leader: “Katie loved nature and mini beasts, so a small woodland play area would be a perfect, fitting memorial to her. But it all depends on how much money can be raised.”
Reflecting on the tragic loss of her young niece, Elizabeth continued: “I can’t begin to describe the emotions we felt when we were told the awful news. It was unbelievable and we are still in shock. We are devastated.”
On Amy’s fundraising page, Elizabeth added: “Katie’s family will never forget her beautiful smile and cheeky giggles, but they would also like her name to be forever remembered.
“We would be grateful for any donations received.
“On behalf of my daughter Amy and our family I would like to thank everyone for their continued support and amazing generosity.”
Amy is hoping to raise £500, and her hair will be sent to the Little Princess Trust to be made into a wig for a child who has suffered hair loss due to cancer treatment.
Amy told the Leader: “I wanted to do something to let my auntie and uncle know that I love them and want everyone to remember Katie.
“I’ve heard of people getting their hair cut for charity so wanted do that to see if I could help raise money in Katie’s memory while also helping another poorly child by donating my hair.”
Amy’s charity hair cut will take place in York next Saturday as part of a wider family fun day to raise money towards a memorial for Katie and for two charities, York MIND and The Island.
l Amy’s online fundraising page can be found at www.gofundme.com/katie-rough-memorial-fund-haircut
l A public funeral for Katie, led by the Archbishop of York, will be held at York Minster on Monday (February 13), and anyone who attends is asked to dress smartly with a ‘splash of colour’.