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Couple fly the fundraising flag for LGBT cause

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By Abbey Morton
Couple fly the fundraising flag for LGBT cause

SOCIAL media stars Abbie and Cole Howat have raised over £31k for a charity close to their hearts.

Last Friday, the Dumfries couple undertook a 12-hour live session on TikTok, where they filmed challenges, chats and duels with other influencers in aid of the LGBT Foundation.

Within 20 minutes they had raised £3000, and the figure just kept on rising.

By the end of the day, their 570k followers had donated £21,900.

And their total was boosted by TikTok, who will match-fund up to £10,000.

Speaking this week, Abbie, who is originally from Lockerbie, said: “We decided to do a 12 hour live for the LGBT Foundation as we feel LGBT gets under-looked and many people don’t see the struggles those in this community can face every day in life, for just being themselves.

“We wanted to raise awareness and be able to help them to help many others who may be struggling with their sexuality.

“Both myself and Cole are so lucky we have always had amazingly supportive families and friends. But not everyone has this.”

Ahead of the session, they made plans to ‘duel’ other influencers and also set many of them challenges.

Abbie added: “We are so blown away by everyone’s kindness and support shown to us and the LGBT Foundation.

“We will have more charity events in the very near future.

“I’m not quite sure we can go bigger and better but we will always try.

“We have many amazing opportunities offered to us so the future is looking amazing.”

Outwith their online lives, Abbie and Cole run Mrs Howat’s Vintage Barbers in Dumfries.

But when Covid-19 hit last year, they were forced to close the busy shop, and Abbie admits: “It has been hard, and takes a toll on us financially and mentally, so we had to keep ourselves busy.”

They started their TikTok channel in April last year to ease lockdown boredom and to have a bit of fun.

Abbie said: “At first I wasn’t up for it, as I’m so self conscious on camera, but it wasn’t long before I absolutely loved it.”

Together they created a support network called Foxfam, after realising there were so many people living alone or without contact with anyone, especially in lockdown, and many people’s mental health was deteriorating.

She added: “As our platform grew we were unable to help so many people on our own, so Foxfam greatly help with this and it lets other people know they too can reach out to other members.

“We are like a massive online family and it’s amazing.”

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