Benedict Cumberbatch has become involved in a new charity single release and an accompanying short video, aimed at raising money to support refugees from Syria looking to settle in Europe.

The ‘Sherlock’ actor, 39, introduces a short film entitled ‘Help Is Coming’, which accompanies the song of the same name by rock act Crowded House, which is being specially re-issued 20 years after its first release. The track is available as a 7” single and download as of today (September 11th), and with the band’s blessing has been organised by journalists Caitlin Moran and Pete Paphides. Proceeds from royalties will all go to Save The Children.

Benedict CumberbatchBenedict Cumberbatch

Neil Finn, co-songwriter of Crowded House, said of the track: “It was always a song about refugees, even if at the time I was thinking about the immigrants setting off on ships from Europe to America, looking for a better life for their families in America. There is such a huge scale and urgency to the current refugee crises that barely a day goes by without some crushing image or news account to confront us. We can't be silent any more.”

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Cumberbatch also introduces the short film, reciting a few lines of the poem ‘Home’ by Warsan Shire, a Kenyan-born writer who came to the UK as a child. He then says: “As people watching this tragedy unfold from the safely of our homes, with our safe children, we want to say that we see you, we hear you and help is coming.”

Directed by Mat Whitecross, it uses interviews conducted by Syrian children fleeing from their war-torn country and footage of boats making it to European shores.

Cumberbatch, who has recently become a father, is currently starring in a production of ‘Hamlet’ at the Barbican Theatre in London. At the end of his performance on Thursday (September 10th), he used the stage to make an appeal for donations, while at the same time criticising “our government’s slow response” to the crisis.

Quoting another line from the poem mentioned above, Cumberbatch said: “A parent only puts their child on a boat when the sea is safer than the land.” He also joked that he wanted the members of the audience to donate notes rather than coins because he didn’t want the buckets to be too heavy.

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