Inverness College UHI Hairdressing Students Help Homeless and Vulnerable People

By Reporter, The HighLand Times, Wednesday June 6 2018

Pictures: Inverness College UHI staff with Inverness Foodstuff participants.

Staff and students at Inverness College UHI have been doing their bit to help people in need by providing free haircuts to the homeless and vulnerable.

The college’s hairdressing department has been running a regular pop-up salon at Inverness Foodstuff, a community drop-in which offers people a hot, nutritious meal, plus support and advice every Tuesday and Thursday at Ness Bank Church hall.

The church and community project was set up to address the problem of homelessness, food poverty, social isolation and food waste.

Hairdressing lecturer Roz Bullard set up the partnership with Inverness Foodstuff in January and lecturing staff and students have been returning monthly to cut hair for free.

Roz said:

“If you are struggling to make ends meet, a haircut is the least of your priorities, but it’s amazing what a difference a new haircut can make to how you feel.

“The feedback from people who use the drop-in centre has been phenomenal, they’ve really embraced the service we have offered and look forward to us coming in.

“We’ve been told it’s an ‘invaluable’ service and we hope to be able to make it a regular thing.

“It’s also been a really great experience for our students, who have loved getting out and about meeting new people and really learned a lot in terms of people skills, which is a massive part of being a good hairdresser.

“We’re also really delighted to be giving something back to the community.”

Agnes Fraser, volunteer manager with Inverness Foodstuff, said:

“Inverness Foodstuff and the participants have benefited from the enthusiasm and talent of the hairdressing team. 

“It's not just about cutting hair, it’s about being treated with dignity and respect, making people feel better and enjoying the pampering. 

“Our participants were delighted with the results of their ‘make-over’ and whilst they were cautious initially they now ask when the girls are coming in.”

Inverness College UHI, at Inverness Campus, runs a range of hairdressing courses and works with employers to provide training to modern apprentices.

Students learn in the classroom as well as Training Salons, where they work with members of the public who pay training prices. Inverness College UHI also has its own Brèagha Commercial Salon, run by recently qualified beauticians and hairdressers.

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