A LOCAL schoolgirl has had her confidence shattered after bullies targeted her when her hair began to fall out.

The 11-year-old, from Kelty, began developing bald patches around the size of a 20p coin, after returning from holiday.

Lily Thomson’s family believed the hair loss was down to braids being made too tight, however, a dermatologist eventually diagnosed her with alopecia.

Her family say the "bright and confident" young lady increasingly became more isolated as it became harder to hide the patches on her head.

Lily’s aunt, Cheryl Wilkinson, explained that the condition has had a devastating impact on her niece’s confidence.

She added: "You could tell it was bothering her at the start, but it wasn't that bad.

“As it got worse then we noticed that she was coming home upset and saying she doesn't want to go to school, which isn't like her.

"It's been devastating for her confidence.

"She doesn't really want to leave the house or do anything because she doesn't want anyone to see her hair, which is heartbreaking."

They have set up a fundraiser with hopes of raising enough money to cover specialist treatment to regrow her hair.

Cheryl added: "We've explored different options, but these range from a few hundred pounds to well over a thousand, when you factor in maintenance.

“We're all desperate to give her back the confidence she had, because she is a beautiful and bright young lass."

Cowdenbeath Rotary Club president, John Gilfillan, said he felt so sorry for the young girl when Lily’s gran, Linda, told him about her plight.

He said: “Children should go to school happy, and not be subjected to nasty comments.

“I’m sure there are good friends who will be taking care of Lily, and well done to them, but there is always the other divide who insist on cruel jibes it is not right.

“Having met Lily, she is a lovely well-mannered and polite young lady and is a little bewildered with everything going on, but will come out of it a stronger person, I’m certain of that.”

John added: “She is a bonnie wee lassie who with the love and support from her family and genuine friends will come through this difficult period in her young life.”

John is pictured handing Lily a cheque of £100 from Cowdenbeath Rotary Club to help with the fundraising, and has given Lily another £100 from his own business ‘to let her buy something nice’.