Tyne & Wear

Sunderland boy, five, to receive first haircut for charity

Rean Carter. Photo: PA
Image caption Rean has already raised £82 in sponsorship from friends and family

A five-year-old boy from Sunderland who has never had his hair cut is getting the chop for charity.

Rean Carter, from Hylton Castle, has to have his hair, which reaches below his belt, tied up for school.

The boy has told his mother he is "sick" of being mistaken for a girl and has demanded to go to the barber.

The sponsored haircut will raise money for Sunderland Royal Hospital children's unit.

Rean's mother, Leeanne Smith, said she has "already cried" at the thought of cutting his hair.

Spiky on top

"When Rean was born he had a lovely little curl of golden hair at the back of his head," she said.

"I just could never bear to get it cut, not even his fringe."

Ms Smith said Rean had often been mistaken for a girl, but it had never bothered him until he joined school and had to tie it into a ponytail for health and safety.

"Some of the other little boys began to make fun," Rean's mother said.

"They said he could not play with them because he looked like a girl."

The family said the barber was under "strict instructions not to take too much off", but Rean had asked for short hair that was spiky on top when it is cut at Easter.

The haircut will raise money for Sunderland Royal Hospital children's unit, where Rean was admitted for a week-and-a-half in 2010, when suffering from impetigo.

The youngster has already raised £82 in sponsorship from friends, family and classmates.

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