12 JANUARY 2009

The new year clearly signals a fresh start for Heather Mills. Paul McCartney's former wife is back in the spotlight stateside with a new image and a mission to transform the way children living in the Bronx approach mealtimes.

The 40-year-old animal rights campaigner debuted a Sharon Stone-style blonde crop at the weekend as she hosted a vegan cook-a-thon for 100 families in the New York borough. The session was the latest step in her plan to introduce youngsters to the benefits of a meat-free diet and get them eating healthily.

Heather, who has already donated $1 million-worth of vegan food to a local children's charity, has appeared on US TV to highlight the initiative. There, talk inevitably turned to her edgy new hairstyle. "I'd actually been thinking about cutting my hair for quite a while," she said, adding: "I hope now this is a fresh beginning."

She also spoke about how she's moved on since her divorce. "Things are great, really good," she said. "Everyone I know who has been through a divorce finds it really, really difficult… We were most importantly trying to protect our daughter and she seems to have come through incredibly well."

Photo: Getty Images
The former model debuted a funky short crop as she set about teaching families in the Bronx how to prepare vegan meals
Photo: Getty Images
Paul McCartney's former wife is on a mission to educate youngsters about the health benefits of a meat-free diet and has donated $1 million of vegan food to a local children's charity
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