A YOUNG boy who chose to grow his hair out for charity was hit by a stranger on the street because of his ‘man bun’.
Ben Sarak, 12, from Middleton, was targeted by bullies for tying up his long hair.
The youngster asked his mum, Natasha, if he could let his hair grow to his waist after seeing others donating to the Little Princess Trust.
It took three years for his hair to get where he wanted it to be, but during that time Ben faced horrific verbal and physical abuse.
His mother said watching the abuse unfold knowing he was just doing it to help others had been difficult.
Natasha told Manchester Evening News: “It’s heartbreaking for me. As a mum I was devastated. Everyone knows what a nice boy Ben is.
“He learned to laugh when he calls a girl and leaves. He persevered, but he can’t wait to get it cut, so it was a challenge.
Ben had been inspired to want to get involved with the Little Princess Trust in early 2020 when coronavirus restrictions meant he couldn’t get a haircut.
The organization provides free real hair wigs to children and young people who are losing their hair while battling cancer.
But once Ben’s hair grew long enough to be tied back, Natasha says he was attacked for wearing it in a bun.
She said: “He’s always been insulted. He’s got a pretty face; he’s handsome, so we always call him a girl whether people are mean or not.
“We’ll walk into a cafe and call him Madame. He’ll say, ‘I’m a boy’.”
Natasha remembers the first time Ben was attacked on his way home from school.
Three people caught up to him and started pulling his hair while calling him a girl and shoving him.
In another instance, a child started following him with a rock asking if he was a girl, then punched Ben in the face.
She said: “He’s had a few incidents, but you know what, he’s developed really thick skin over it. It’s so heartbreaking.
“It makes me really proud because at any time he could have asked me to book him at the hairdresser to have him cut, but he never did.
“He kept going. I have to be strong for him in front of him and tell him he’s better than [the bullying] and everything is fine.
On January 21, Ben will cut his hair which will go to the Little Princess Trust.
He has also raised £1,350 of his £1,500 goal which will be donated to social welfare charity The Fed.
On the fundraising page, Ben explained why he chose the money to go.
He wrote: ‘I want to raise money for the Fed because my great grandfather Gerry was treated at Heathlands Village for 3 years.
“The staff were amazing and friendly, and we knew they were being looked after so well.
“I had a very close and special bond with my grandfather, so I’m doing this in his honor and in his memory.”
Anyone wishing to donate money to Ben’s fundraiser can do so here.