From education to employment

Blackburn College holds pop-up barber shops during Mental Health Awareness Week to raise money for The Lions Barber Collective

Over 35 students had their hair cut to raise money for The Lions Barber Collective across two days at Blackburn College during Mental Health Awareness Week.

In partnership with Blackburn University Centre Students’ Union, Steve Griffin who is the Students’ Union Equality and Disabilities Officer, Level 3 Barbering student Luke Swindlehurst, in addition to other Level 2 and Level 3 Barbering students raised £51 in donations by cutting students hair. Money was also donated directly to The Lions Barber Collective online.

The Lions Barber Collective is a charity that was set up in 2015 by an international collection of barbers who have come together to help raise awareness for the prevention of suicide.

Steve Griffin from Preston who is studying for a HNC in Business at Blackburn University Centre and previously studied a Level 3 NVQ Diploma in Barbering at Blackburn College, said: “In 2018 I experienced the devastating impact of mental health after having a nervous breakdown following bereavement after the loss of my mum from cancer. 

“It left me feeling totally alone and withdrawn from society. The guilt and shame that I felt because of the stigma around having a mental health issue was devastating.

“I enrolled on the Level 3 NVQ diploma in Barbering course at Blackburn College in 2020. I can honestly say that barbering has saved my life, and through my barbering and volunteering with the Lions Barber Collective, I will have hopefully helped save someone’s life too.

“The original anxiety of attending the first day of my barbering course was huge, but the learning and support that I received over the course has been fundamental to my recovery.”

Blackburn College Principal and Chief Executive Dr Fazal Dad said: “It was excellent to see so many of our students taking part in Mental Health Awareness Week by raising awareness of men’s mental health and raising money for The Lions Barber Collective charity.

“During the week, our students have been involved in many activities to raise this very important subject area with friends and family to ensure people are aware of support options.

“The money raised by our students will support the charity to continue their fantastic work.”

For more information on The Lions Barber Collective, visit

To find out more about the support for students available at Blackburn College, visit

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