Two hairdressers in Ellesmere Port offering free services to homeless people

Published date: 19 May 2017 |
Published by: Matt Warner 
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TWO hairdressers are offering their free services to homeless people in Chester.

Regular drop-in sessions are held at Campbell Hall in Boughton offering meals, showers, toiletries and fresh clothes.

Now, for the first time on Saturday between 5pm and 7pm, homeless people will also be able to get a haircut thanks to Phil Howgate and Laura Rawson, of Steve's Barbers in Ellesmere Port.

Barbers Laura Rawson and Phil Howgate

Helen Anthony, of Soul Kitchen, one of the volunteer groups that support the drop-in sessions, said that between 15 and 30 homeless people, with a small number of those sleeping rough in the city, usually attend.

Helen said the chance to have a haircut and a shave was as valuable to many homeless people as a meal or a shower.

Helen said: “What they value is having someone speak to them on the same level, not be patronising, and listen to what they have to say.

“It’s all about respect and treating them how you or I would want to be treated. It’s the most important thing.

Phil Howgate, 25, has been cutting hair at Steve's Barbers on Vale Road, Ellesmere Port, for six years. He was happy to help when contacted by local businessman and volunteer Onkar Singh-Bains.

Phil said: “We had a conversation about it and wanted to get involved and do what we can to help. 

“Homelessness is a massive issue. There are so many people becoming homeless – and it can happen to anyone.

“We are going to cut hair for an hour or two for anyone who wants to get it done. 

“We’re hoping that it can become a regular thing.”

Mr Singh-Bains regularly volunteers throughout the week with ShareShop in Chester, handing out food parcels, toiletries and offering help with issues like housing.

He said: “We want to offer as many different services as we can so we are giving people more than just a bag of food.

“A lot of the people that we see don't have the money to pay for a haircut.

“We contacted Steve's Barbers and Phil very kindly offered to help. 

“We hope it will become a monthly thing.”

  • See full story in the Chester Leader

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