Laura Patsko

Fundraising for Black Minds Matter UK

Fundraising for Oxfordshire Community Foundation
raised of £330 target
by 13 supporters
We support Oxfordshire non-profit groups to make life better for local people.


Like many of us living in lockdown over the past few months, I really need a haircut. Fortunately, I've got an appointment booked for Weds 8 July. And...

I've decided to get it all chopped off and donate it.

Donations made on this page will go to Black Minds Matter UK.

(Note: The charitable funds raised by Black Minds Matter UK are managed by the Oxfordshire Community Foundation, hence the logo you'll see on this fundraising page.)

I spent the summer last year (2019) working in London, and I was lucky enough to find a flatshare with another amazing young woman. Anne-Claire, or "AC", is the founder of FLY, a social enterprise and forthcoming hair salon for black women ( She also recently launched Dear Noah, a visual time capsule and "open love letter" to the next generation, illustrating and documenting the May–June 2020 worldwide civil rights movement.(

As AC and I got to know each other last summer, chatting every day about anything and everything, I learned so much from her that I had never expected or imagined. Like:

  • for black women, going to have your hair done is rarely a pleasant experience
  • it can be uncomfortable, even painful, and there's a very real risk of long-term hair loss or damage
  • it's extremely expensive and time-consuming for a black woman to get her hair done
  • even in a huge and very ethnically diverse city like London, it can take years of searching and frequent trips across the city for a black woman to find a decent hairdresser
  • the choices black women make about their hair can be extremely political and politicised

My own naivety surprised me (and probably amused AC!). Every time I go for a haircut now, I think of our conversations. And when I decided to have a sponsored haircut for charity, it just seemed natural and obvious to raise funds to support better haircare for black women.

But it proved surprisingly hard to find a hair-related charity supporting the black community! So instead, I've chosen a charity that focuses on providing mental health support to the black community: Black Minds Matter UK. As my friendship with AC has helped me to understand, there's a strong link between black women's mental health and their hair.

Here's a little more about the charity you'll be supporting by donating on this page (info adapted from their Gofundme page and website). You can find out more at and

We understand more than ever the effects of racial discrimination across this country. For many black people, the cases of violence against individuals such as George Floyd in the USA and the many historic incidents in the UK are deeply triggering. Treating mental health must be a priority in the fight for equality and welfare of black people in the UK. 

We also understand that the NHS is currently in crisis and therapy is not always readily available. Our aim is to link as many black individuals and families in the UK with certified, professional, black practitioners for sessions as soon as possible, and to use the money raised to pay in full for therapy sessions for those in need. Our instagram account ( also provides resources, as well as making mental health in the black community relevant and accessible.

I'd also really recommend watching this Oscar-winning short film about an African American father learning to do his daughter’s hair:

And you can learn more about the politics of Afro hair in this 30-minute video:

(I'm also fundraising for two other charities. You can read more and choose to donate to one of them at:


And remember to check back here after 8 July, when I'll share a post-haircut photo!

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About the charity

Oxfordshire Community Foundation is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (number 1151621) founded in 1995. It provides a practical and valuable alternative to setting up a registered charity or charitable foundation.

Donation summary

Total raised
+ £58.75 Gift Aid
Online donations
Offline donations

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