The story of The Little Princess Trust begins with Hannah Tarplee. In her own words, Hannah’s mum Wendy has shared these words about her beautiful daughter:
'Hannah was a thoughtful and caring little girl who was wise far beyond her years. She lost her short battle with cancer at just 5 years old but in those 5 years she brought so much joy to her friends and family with her sense of fun, her incredible kindness and her wonderful sense of humour. She loved dancing and was a budding ballerina, she loved musicals and all things Disney. She was our Little Princess.
She had just started school and was at the start of an exciting adventure. However tough life was for her, she always found joy in the most unlikely of places and she absolutely adored her little brother, George. Hannah always lit up the room with love, fun & kindness. The thousands of children helped by this charity, and the incredible life-saving Little Princess Trust funded research is a wonderful legacy for a truly amazing little girl.'
Hannah was diagnosed with a Wilms tumour in 2004 and experienced hair loss due to her treatment, which was especially traumatic as she loved her hair. Hannah’s parents were able to find her a suitable wig after an extensive search, which they described as having a hugely positive effect on their daughter during her treatment. Tragically Hannah passed away in 2005.
Knowing the effect a wig had on their daughter, and the experience they had trying to find something suitable, as a fitting, powerful tribute to Hannah, her memory, and her legacy Wendy and Simon, their friends, and Hereford Cathedral Junior School founded The Little Princess Trust in 2006. Making real hair wigs free and accessible to children and young adults across the UK and Ireland in a space where they can feel safe and cared for, helping them regain their confidence and identity. All wigs are chosen by the recipient for colour and length. Once the wig is selected the recipient is matched with a salon and a specialist hairstylist where their chosen wig can be styled exactly as they would like it. The Little Princess Trust are now in the early stages of offering their services in Europe and beyond, all volunteers and fundraisers ensure that more children and young people are helped when they really need it.