Hairdressing students offer free haircuts to homeless in Burnley

  • ITV Granada Correspondent Mel Barham met those who received free haircuts

A homeless man has thanked college students who cut his hair for free - and says he feels "smashing" after the chop.

The barbering students, from Nelson and Colne College, Lancashire, welcomed members of the community to Burnley’s ‘Church on the Street’.

As well as providing free haircuts to the homeless, the students were also given a chance to practice their communication skills too.

Derek, who is homeless and one of those happy to get a pampered, said: "I feel great, it's smashing - I feel a lot better now".

Two of the students taking part, Melissa and Jess, think the scheme is a great way of giving back to those who may be struggling.

Jess said: "With price rises it's not easy, and it's becoming a luxury and we just want to help people out. It is nice to be able to make people's days."

Getting a haircut can boost anyone's wellbeing and confidence, but is a luxury that is not normally an option afforded to those living on the streets.

Haircuts4homeless have been providing free cuts for homeless people across the UK Credit: Haircuts4homeless

Pastor Mick Fleming from Church on the Street said: "It's like two fold, you haven't had to spend 10 quid, but it makes such a difference.

"With a new haircut they smile, so you can see it's worth far more than having your haircut."

The students and the group of homeless people in Burnley are hoping this will become a more regular service.

Haircuts4Homeless, which is a registered charity set up by veteran hairdresser Stewart Roberts also provides free cuts for those on the streets.  

The charity says hairdressers have a known empathy and are great communicators.

The industry is known for its generosity and willingness to help people therefore there are many that would willingly give some of their time and expertise. 

It says there is something very personal about cutting someone’s hair that can be both enjoyable and therapeutic which is something that many homeless people rarely get.

It may be "just a haircut", but it's the kindness shown that makes a homeless person know that people "really care".

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