ON a sunny spring morning out on the rear courtyard of the BreezWay in Dania Street, something great is happening.
Volunteers from Hair Aid are snipping, shaving and styling new-dos for some less well-off members of our community.
Darren Dubberley is one of the stylists doing the cutting.
“I just think it’s important to give something back when you can,” he said.
“I’ve got a skill, I can cut hair, and it doesn’t take long, it’s only a few hours out of my time, it doesn’t cost me anything and it makes people feel better.
“A hair cut can make a person feel better and they aren’t judged as harshly by other people in the community.”
Hair Aid is an organisation with two main causes. There’s an international program of sending hairdressers to developing countries, and a local effort called Community Cuts.
Mr Dubberley, who’s normal work location is at Eve Salon on Doveton Street North, has undertaken voluntary work for the organisation at the international level, but now he wants to help out closer to home.
Today he’s given up a few hours to do just that.
Mr Dubberley’s BreezWay clients come from a range of background and attend the service for many different reasons.
One of those clients, who asked not to be named, said her main reason for attending the BreezWay was for a meal – the haircut was a nice bonus, having not had one for a number of months.
“I knew these guys were coming and I thought I needed a bit of a trim,” she said. “A haircut is as good as a holiday. They’re doing quite a good job, I can feel the difference already.
“I’ve gone for a sort of messy, spiky, short look, something manageable with the warmer weather coming.”
Thea Burns works as an educator with Federation University where she teaches the art and skill of hairdressing.
Like Mr Dubberley, she also enjoys the positive community aspects of Hair Aid.
“It’s a great thing to do, to give back to the community and to provide free haircuts where needed,” Ms Burns said.
Normally her students would be involved in this kind of effort as well, although with classes on they were unavailable this time round.
Ms Burns said involving hair and beauty students in programs like Hair Aid was important for their development and something they were more than willing to take part in.
“We’re always doing voluntary things,” she said.
“They jump up and they’re always there. I usually find people are more than willing to come and help out and do things.”
Hair Aid plan to be at the BreezWay every six weeks and Mr Dubberley said the group would also look for other opportunities to undertake outreach work in the community.