The Facebook video of a 24-year-old mum from Chorley, Lancashire, shaving her head to raise money for the on-going refugee crisis has gone viral.
Since Amy Hardcastle uploaded the video on Saturday, it has reportedly been viewed over 29,000 times.
She has already tripled her initial goal to raise £100 for Doctors Without Borders, otherwise known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), a non-profit organisation “helping people worldwide where the need is greatest” by “delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from health care”.
You can donate money to Hardcastle’s JustGiving page by clicking here.
‘The message isn’t out there’
Hardcastle has commented on what it was about the refugee crisis that inspired her to act. She told The Bee:
“I’m quite an emotional person and I try to get involved with a lot of meaningful causes. But specifically with the refugee crisis, I feel like there’s been a lot of misunderstanding and I see so many people just not getting it, and they don’t want to help because they don’t understand.
“That really affected me because it all needs so much help, attention and compassion and even if everybody helped, this would still be a terrible situation. But not everyone is helping and the message isn’t out there. But I do understand that it can be hard to extend an invitation of help when we’re facing a lot of cuts in this country, especially because this war has been going on for such a long time and it’s such a complex issue.”
The below video has been taken from The Bee’s YouTube page.
Social media hit
Hardcastle did not think the video would get shared beyond her hometown Chorley, and felt she “could have done so much more” but only had limited resources.
Now a social media sensation, she has been receiving thank you messages from those that have fled their countries to find refuge.
“I wanted to go out to help but I can’t leave my son so this has just been very humbling and astonishing.
“I didn’t think that this was much of anything. I just planned to raise a little bit of money – more than I could afford to give – and yet I’ve touched so many people and I’ve had so many friend requests from people who feel like they’re not alone and that someone who doesn’t even know them cares about them.
A personal platform
Hardcastle explained that, now she has a social platform, she wants to use it “effectively”.
“I’ve got a bit of a platform now and I want to use that effectively. My main objective is to make it personal. It’s so easy to dismiss refugees as a group and to just throw a tenner at them, but these are complex, unique individuals and this is a complex issue. This is about each individual person and I think one of the first and easiest things I can do is to amplify the voices of those who’ve contacted me.
“One of the people I spoke to lives in Germany and has done for a few months. He told me that he can’t see his family because if he returns to Syria he will be killed.
“I feel a sense of duty to all of the people who’ve added me. I want to get these people heard. It was never meant to be about me, but now that it kind of is about me; and I need to act appropriately.”
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