The Power of a Poncho

Posted on Friday, 24th November 2017 at 09:33

A young student has found an unusual use for an Edinburgh Trams poncho – by using it to catch her hair when she had her head shaved for charity.

Sophie Bleau, a sixth form student at Portobello High School, picked up the free poncho from Edinburgh Trams’ stall at City of Edinburgh Council’s annual Streets Ahead road safety event.

Heading home, she wondered if it would ever be used. But she soon found an unusual opportunity. The following day, Sophie was to shave her head to raise money for educational charity the Project Trust. However, just before the main event, she realised she had forgotten to pack a towel to collect her hair... and then she remembered the poncho.

“Luckily I happened to have your wonderfully fashionable accessory in my school bag,” she wrote in a letter to Edinburgh Trams. “It saved the day.”

Sophie raised £800 for the Project Trust, with whom she hopes to volunteer in Guyana next year, with her head shave. She also donated her hair to the Little Princess Trust, which makes wigs for children with cancer.

In total, Sophie is seeking to raise £6,200 for the Project Trust and wondered if Edinburgh Trams would like to contribute to such a good cause.

Impressed by her poncho-based initiative, Edinburgh Trams invited Sophie to Gogar Tram Depot to be presented with a cheque for £200, marking her first thousand pounds raised. Sophie was also treated to a tram driving experience and behind the scenes tour.

Dean Anderson, Customer Experience Manager at Edinburgh Trams said:

“Who’d have known the humble poncho could have so many uses. Sophie’s letter made us smile and we felt it was a story too good not to share.

“Sophie is an inspiring young lady and I’d like to ask everyone who has the time to read more about her fundraising efforts by visiting her Virgin Money Giving page.”

Ingrid Emerson MBE, Chief Executive at Project Trust commented:

“We are really proud of Sophie’s creative fundraising efforts towards her Volunteer teaching placement in Guyana. We would like to thank Edinburgh Trams for the poncho and generous donation.” 

Helen Creese, Communications Producer at Little Princess Trust added:

“We were thrilled to hear about Sophie's hair donation to the Little Princess Trust. We are hugely grateful as we can use Sophie's donated locks to make real hair wigs for children and young adults who have lost their own hair as a result of cancer treatment or another medical condition.

“Receiving a wig has a profoundly positive effect on those that we assist. Thank you, Sophie, and thank you to all of your supporters!”

To find our more and to donate, please visit Sophie's Virgin Money Just Giving page.