College Barbering students play important part in local homeless charity initiative

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Two College Barbering students recently volunteered to help the homeless charity Second Chance deliver a special event in the Street Barbers & Tattoo Shop in Boscombe. The students, Mark Timms and Shannon McKenzie, helped in providing around 30 free haircuts to vulnerable people from across the area.

Second Chance are a Bournemouth based charity who focus on providing guidance and advocacy to the homeless to assist them getting off the streets. Along with providing food, clothing and sleeping bags, they offer a drop in service and a veterinary service for the dogs belonging to the homeless.

Mark and Shannon were both motivated to help as Mark has experienced homelessness personally. Mark’s ambition is to start a project providing haircuts for the homeless and to pass on his own personal experience of recovery from addiction, along with his skills as a Barber to help those recovering potentially gain a qualification themselves.

Mark commented: “Charities like Second Chance play a vital role in the community. All the staff that work there are very passionate about what they do and do the job in their own spare time. I had the support from a charity like them in the past and it’s been very important part of my recovery.”

Mark and Shannon provided all sorts of cuts on the day, from skin fades to Mohicans and beard trims, all skills which they had learned and honed at the College, and it proved a very rewarding experience. Mark added:

“It was great to see the positive reactions of the clients. It’s wonderful to be able to make someone feel better about themselves. These people almost feel invisible when they are on the streets asking others for help. A lot of the homeless come from all different walks of life and they really appreciate it when people show them some compassion.”