Peterborough’s homeless are being offered free hair cuts and a change of clothes as part of a new project.
Haircuts4Homeless launched in Peterborough on Monday, with the city becoming the first place in the East of England to become involved in the scheme.
Mayor of Peterborough Cllr Gul Nawaz and Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Ray Bisby were among those there for the formal launch at Outside Links in Wellington Street, where former residents of HMP Peterborough and local homeless people can access support services.
Haircuts4Homeless is a charity that was established by hairdresser Stewart Roberts, building a community of skilled hairdressers willing to give their time free of charge to help homeless people.
The charity is operational in various locations across the country, with Peterborough being chosen to be the first area in the region to become part of the network.
Peterborough hairdresser Sharron Walker (41) from Paston Ridings helped set up the project in the city after seeing an advert for the charity a year ago, before contacting Stewart.
She said: “He wanted someone dedicated from Peterborough to take it forward. I went to an open day in Manchester to see how it’s run and to see if it was possible to do it and how much commitment I needed to do it myself.
“I grew up in Peterborough and the homeless situation is getting really bad. You walk by a homeless person and want to help them but don’t know how. Seeing the advert, I thought ‘that’s perfect’. I have these skills and can make a difference on my day off.
“At the centre they can shower and get a fresh set of clothes. They can then be sent off to interviews or to see their parole officer.
“People don’t have a hair cut in a long time because their budget is small. This will make such an incredible amount of difference to someone who has so little money.
“Outside Links has been amazing. Homeless people are used to going there and they feel safe there.”
The free hair cuts will be offered on the first Monday of every month, starting from September 2, 10.30am to 12.30pm.
Sharron, whose business is called Sharron Walker Mobile Hair Stylist, is looking for barbers and hairdressers to take part in the scheme.
Anyone wishing to contact her can email firstname.lastname@example.org.