Rugby stars unite to support Care With Hair

What do Terry O’Connor, Owen Farrell, Willie Isa, Danny Walker, Peter Mata’utia and Sitaleki Akauola all have in common – besides rugby?

They’ve answered the challenge, they’ve done their bit to help those who need it – and they all have brand new haircuts.

Not for the first time, the rugby league family has come together to help those in need.

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Community Integrated Care is the social care partner of Super League and the RFL. It is the charity that is also responsible for creating and launching the Learning Disability Rugby League.

It is one of the biggest care providers in Britain, supporting thousands of people across the country who have learning disabilities, autism, mental health concerns, and dementia.

They have spent almost £2m since lockdown started in March. That money has gone towards trying to keep people safe and healthy during these frightening times.

But these past seven weeks have been more than challenging for the charity, which has sadly seen many of the people they care for succumb to coronavirus.

Proud ambassador of our charity, Terry O’Connor from @SkySports, is taking on the #CareWithHair challenge!
Donating money saved on his ✂️ to help care services through this crisis, at: https://t.co/RZik1C3gwF

Let’s see your lockdown looks @owen_faz, @RLBarrieMc10 & @ISA_Willie! pic.twitter.com/Mxo6lBFAu2

John Hughes, who is the director of partnerships and communities at Community Integrated Care, has helped come up with a creative way to raise some much-needed funds – Care With Hair.

“We have been trying to think about how we can do a fundraiser that everyone could get behind and it would be something that people would have a lot of fun with, and it might bring some happiness to what is a very difficult time,” Hughes said.

“What we’ve realised is, at the moment, a lot of people have had to become DIY hairstylists. So, we came up with this concept ‘Care With Hair.’

“The idea is that when people are doing their own haircuts, the money that they might have spent at the barbers or the salon can be donated to this campaign, and every penny is going to the front line of this crisis.”

I have sorted out my hair now let’s see your lockdown looks @JaceClark013 @jpm_emerson @LiamMarshall20 #CareWithHair

P.S Thanks to my iso barber @gembon23 for my fade yesterday 😂 pic.twitter.com/UfomryAoZP

Hughes said the funds raised will be used for many things including activity packs to help the 4000 people in the charity’s care cope with the challenges of self-isolation.

“That could be projectors for people who are coming to the end of their life, so they can see images on the ceiling of the bedroom that might bring them comfort, it might be sensory equipment for people with learning disabilities who need something to help stimulate,” Hughes said.

“We will also try to get some comfort packs created for our staff, the small things that might make a big difference. Things like snacks and drinks, because if you’re working long hours you won’t have the opportunity to go to the shops.

“The target for us is simply to raise as much money as we can, because there is so much we can do for people who are going through this crisis.”

DIY Hair trim and donation for the @ComIntCare #CareWithHair campaign! Make a donation however big or small to https://t.co/vqynxza1Wo with the money you will save on haircuts during lockdown! 🔐 💇‍♀️ pic.twitter.com/veiVgJezb0

The Care With Hair campaign has only been running for a short period and has already seen some of Rugby’s finest involved.

O’Connor, Farrell, Isa, Walker, Mata’utia and Akauola – and that’s just the start, because when you take part in the challenge, you then nominate three people to follow suit.

When you see who has been nominated, this campaign is sure to go far and wide.

“Hopefully it’s something everyone can get involved in and everyone feels the difference,” Hughes said.

“The key thing that we want people to do next is when they see their sporting hero’s getting involved in this it would be amazing to see the fans also taking it on.”

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