A WEYMOUTH schoolgirl is to shave her head on live national television to raise money and awareness of ovarian cancer – two years after her mother took on the same challenge.

Wey Valley School pupil Ruby Allen-Denton, 13, is to have her hair shaved down to a grade-2 buzzcut live on Lorraine Kelly's eponymous ITV morning show on Wednesday, March 21, to raise money for the Gill Harler Fund.

Gill died last February after six years battling ovarian cancer, during which time she campaigned almost constantly to raise awareness of the disease, which is notoriously difficult to diagnose.

Ruby said she was ‘proud, but nervous too’ ahead of the challenge, through which she is hoping to raise £350 for the Gill Harler Fund and Wey Valley’s own Will Mackaness Trust. “I am doing this because I want to raise awareness for Gill’s charity and especially awareness for the younger generation,” she explained.

"Gill was passionate about all girls and women knowing the silent symptoms; I miss her every day and will ensure her legacy lives on.”

Ruby’s mother Melissa, 42 and of Melcombe Regis, is fully backing her daughter’s challenge.

“Ruby came home about a month ago and said she was going to shave her head,” she recounted. At first resistant, Melissa came around after seeing that her daughter was determined to go ahead with the plan. And it’s a case of like mother, like daughter: Melissa herself shaved her head in an event at the Weymouth Pavilion two years ago, and for the same cause.

“So Ruby knows she’s letting herself in for a cold head!” she said.

Melissa had a long acquaintance with the late Gill Harler, who was her teacher at Radipole Primary School some 35 years ago. She befriended Gill’s daughter, Karen Symons, during Gill’s illness, and both Melissa and Karen now serve as trustees of the charity fund set up in Gill’s memory.

Melissa is especially proud of her daughter, she says, because Gill had stressed the need to communicate the risks of ovarian cancer to women and girls of all generations, not only older people.

“Girls have ovaries too,” said Melissa, who runs a medical supplies company. “It’s not just an older person’s disease.

“I think Gill would be so proud of Ruby.”

Karen will appear alongside Ruby on the Lorraine Kelly show, for moral support. Melissa explained her daughter had chosen the ITV show because Ms Kelly serves as patron of the Gill Harler Fund, and has used her position to campaign for awareness of ovarian cancer.

You can find out more at the http://gillharlerfund.org/ and can donate to Ruby’s appeal at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/melissa-allen-denton-2.