AN INSPIRATIONAL Basingstoke schoolboy has raised more than £1,000 after losing his long blond locks off for a good cause.

Joshua Dempsey, 11, has raised £1,300 for both the cancer ward and the Families of Ocean children’s ward at Southampton General Hospital after he had his head shaved in front of school friends at St Bede’s Catholic Primary School, in Popley Way, Popley.

The 11-year-old was treated for a narrowing of the aorta shortly after he was born at the hospital and his uncle Luke, who he never met, passed away in 1993 following treatment for leukaemia at the hospital.

Joshua, who lives with his parents, Aaron and Natalie, and siblings Archie and Poppy, in Benham Road, Popley, took the bold step to have his long, blond hair shaved off in front of his family and friends at the school.

In addition to the money raised for the two hospital wards, Joshua’s hair will now be donated to the Little Princess’ Trust, which makes wigs for young children battling cancer.

Dad Aaron, 31, told The Gazette: “He did really well and we are very, very proud of him. His hair was very long and I don’t think when people at my work donated, they knew how long it was. He has always wanted longer hair so he hasn’t had it cut for a couple of years.

“He seems to like it (his new look). I was a bit worried that he wouldn’t like it to start with but with the hot weather, it has been a bit better in a way and he can always grow it back.”