Four NHS doctors are on the brink of raising £10,000 by growing moustaches.
The quartet, who have been friends since meeting at university in 2007, were all working at different hospitals in London when the pandemic hit and were keen to do something to help raise funds.
So they took inspiration from Movember and decided to ask for sponsorship money to grow moustaches, calling the project Hairy Heroes.
Just in case of any confusion - a number of NHS staff have had to shave their beards in order to keep themselves protected from #COVID at work. The mighty moustache however, can remain. We will of course be growing nothing but moustaches. #SafetyFirst— NHSHairyHeroes (@NhsHairy) April 4, 2020
Anaesthetist Thomas Bottomley told the PA news agency: “We thought this was something our friends would enjoy supporting us doing because we’ll all look stupid with our moustaches and also it would be great to earn whatever money we could for this charity.”
The idea was inspired in part by seeing colleagues have to shave off their beards to ensure the FFP3 safety masks would fit properly.
While full beards are currently not allowed in most circumstances for NHS staff to ensure protective equipment still functions properly, moustaches are allowed.
Dr Bottomley said he hoped the project would focus attention on the work being done by NHS colleagues, as well as raising money.
“We were very unsure of the name because we didn’t want to call ourselves heroes,” he said.
“We didn’t necessarily think we’re heroic, we just do our normal jobs, though obviously it’s a difficult time.
“What we wanted to do was use it as a platform to promote other healthcare professionals – so, paramedics, nurses, cleaners, anyone that works in a hospital.”
He added: “There’s a tremendous sense of community in our hospitals at the moment, everyone is rising to the challenge.”
Seeing these generous donations makes the awkward (and often pitying) looks at work totally worth it! Weâll keep willing our whiskers to grow for as long as we keep receiving donations so please keep sharing and giving what you can!🙏🏼💙 (2/2) https://t.co/85f5TYqnoT @NHSCharities— NHSHairyHeroes (@NhsHairy) April 13, 2020
Although the four friends were unsure if they would even be able to raise £1,000, they set their target at £10,000 and are now just short of that.
And they have even encouraged some of their colleagues to get involved and and grow moustaches of their own.
Dr Bottomley said: “People have been so generous … we don’t see it as them supporting us, this is for those people in the NHS that are working hard at the moment.”
– Donations to NHS Charities Together can be made at www.justgiving.com/team/nhshairyheroes