Harrogate boy cuts off hair to fundraise for children’s mental health service
Last updated Jul 21, 2023
Felix getting his hair cut for a mental health fundraiser
Felix getting his hair cut in Birstwith Primary School's playground.

A local boy has cut his hair as part of a fundraiser for a mental health charity.

9-year-old Felix cut off his long hair earlier this week to help raise money for Mind in Harrogate District.

The fundraiser was set up by his family in May and aims to raise enough for a new mental health service for local children.

It aims to raise £10,000 and was launched in memory of Felix’s much-loved great uncle, Dave Keeton.

Mr Keeton took his own life in April this year. He was an educational psychologist, who worked with children and young people for most of his life, so the family felt that it was fitting to raise money for services directly supporting them.

According to Tina Chamberlain, CEO of Mind in Harrogate, 72% of young people in Harrogate District have experienced mental health issues since the pandemic.

She told The Stray Ferret:

“The lack of essential mental health services for young people means that when they eventually pluck up the courage to seek help there is often a lack of adequate support and long waiting lists.”

On their Just Giving page, the family added:

“Opportunities for young people to meet and build relationships face-to-face have disappeared as youth centres and swimming pools have closed, fuelling an epidemic of loneliness.”

The new proposed support service will attempt to alleviate this problem. It will integrate programmes like Drawing and Talking as well as support groups for issues like post-covid anxiety.

The family hope this will provide an effective way for children and young people to process emotional pain or trauma.

In the last week, the fundraiser has seen a huge boost thanks to Felix’s haircutting event generating an extra £2,500 in donations. It is now only a few hundred pounds away from reaching its £10k target.

Felix’s Grandfather, John Barnes told The Stray Ferret:

“The event has worked wonders to raise money and awareness of the issue. Our fundraiser is now well ahead of target thanks to Felix and we’ll be asking him for more creative ideas”

Felix’s mother Suzannah Hepworth commented:

“I am hugely proud of Felix. We were totally blown away by his decision to voluntarily sacrifice his hair as it’s is such a big thing for a nine-year-old to do”

“Felix’s hair is a huge part of his look and his vibe, so to him, cutting it is the biggest sacrifice he could’ve made to show how much he cares and get people to donate”

If you would like to donate or find out more please click the link to the fundraiser here.

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