Homeless people living in and around Nottingham can now receive high quality free haircuts and styles thanks to Nottingham College’s Your Look salon on Wheeler Gate.
From September 12th 2017 until June 2018, the community friendly salon is providing VIP Access cards to anyone within the Nottingham area with no fixed abode, as a goodwill gesture.
The cards, which can be re-used, entitle the holder to a free wash, cut and blow-dry at the salon and it is hoped that many people will take advantage of the opportunity.
Members of staff at Nottingham College have been busy distributing the special VIP cards to people living on the streets and in shelters around Nottingham, in order to make as many people aware of the deal as possible.
Homeless person, Keith Caskey, 45, who has benefitted from a haircut said:
“I’m from Belfast and moved to England to get over my mum’s death and 15 years later, I’m still trying to come to terms with it all. My little “free of charge” haircut makes a huge difference to me and brings welcome happiness to my life.
“The VIP haircuts are a great idea and a fantastic, positive learning experience for both the client and the college students. After the good time I’ve had, I will definitely be asking staff about ways I can style my hair over the next few months. I certainly believe in the look good, feel good theory and I’m 100% grateful for the smile the salon’s put back on my face.”
Joanne Bird, 33, also a homeless person who recently came to the salon said:
“Having my hair styled at the salon has certainly given me a well-needed boost, as I have been on a journey of self-destruct. The reason I’m where I am today is because I’m going through homelessness and mental health issues. Among other things, I lost my daughter to cot death six years ago and I’ve been abused by my partner, which has all been difficult.
“I truly feel “normal” again with my new hair style. Doing things that are regular to people like walking in a shop or salon are currently alien to me. I’ve not had my hair done properly for nearly seven years and if I had the chance, I’d have it done every week! The hairdresser did a fantastic job in replicating the exact style I wanted. I had a conditioning treatment which was beautiful, shampoo, blow dry and style – I love my hairdo – New Year, New Look. It’s so nice to feel cared about and not the lowest in society.”
So far, over 20 men and women have been given a variety of hair care treatments including trims and complete restyles at the Wheeler Gate salon.
Local charities Framework Housing Association and Nottingham based recovery and wellbeing service, Double Impact are grateful for the support that the Nottingham College salon are offering to homeless people.
Eleanor Youdell, Business Development Manager at Double Impact said:
“I’m really pleased that our service users are being given this opportunity to get a free haircut at the Nottingham College salon. It’s something which most of us take for granted, but for people who are new in recovery, this is an important aspect of self-care and can really help them to feel good about themselves.
“This is being offered in a sensitive and discreet way, so that our service users won’t feel self-conscious and can just feel like any valued client turning up for a haircut. Thank you so much!”
Tori Harrison, a member of Framework Housing Association’s Fundraising Team in Nottingham said:
“Here at Framework, we work with almost 12,000 people every year who are homeless or vulnerable. When a person is experiencing a crisis, for example if they are experiencing mental health problems or a family breakdown, it can be incredibly difficult to maintain a tenancy or carry on with day-to-day tasks.
“We work with a number of hair salons in the city – Nottingham College Salon being the first. The scheme gives opportunities for people to step away from daily worries - if only for a short-while - and enjoy an experience where someone can socialise and be pampered in a relaxed environment at no cost to them at all. My continued thanks go to everyone involved.”
Men can have their hair done at the salon on Mondays from 10am - 1pm with the college’s students, Tuesdays from 4.30pm – 8.30pm and Wednesdays from 5pm - 8.30pm for barbering cuts. Ladies can come in on Mondays from 10am – 6pm, Tuesdays from 4pm – 7pm, Thursdays from 4.15pm – 8pm and Fridays 9.15am – 1pm.
Speaking of the Your Look’s service to the homeless, Robert Bostock, Level 2 and 3 Barbering Lecturer at Nottingham College said:
"The VIP card is both an invaluable experience for the learners here at Nottingham College and a great way of interacting with the local homeless people, providing a great link with the community and the college.
“This initiative fits in with Nottingham College’s ethos of diversity and inclusion - to reach out and provide a service to broad sections of the Nottingham community and society.”
Your Look’s Co-ordinator, Kirsty Layton added:
“Here at Your Look and Nottingham College as a whole, we always strive to help out in the community where we can. So, we hope that by providing these special VIP Access cards to the homeless and vulnerable people in and around Nottingham, that we can not only give them a little makeover but we can also let them know that they are valued members of society.
“We encourage all those who want to, to spread the word, so that as many people can take advantage of the deal as possible.”