Free haircuts at Salvation Army drop-in saves bob or two

published on 25 Apr 2023

A Salvation Army community centre has teamed up with a hairdressing college to offer free haircuts to people who are forgoing trips to the barbers due to the rising cost of living.

Horden Salvation Army in County Durham has seen need increase as the cost of food and energy soars - with haircuts often one of the first things people give up as they tighten their budgets.

But thanks to a collaboration with Bella Marie Training Academy in nearby Seaham, the church and charity in Dene Street was able to offer haircuts and hot shaves by trainee students at its community drop-in.

Angela Denton, Community Mission Facilitator at Horden Salvation Army, said: “We were approached by the college about them providing free haircuts and thought it was a brilliant idea. The students are learning and in need of experience and it saves money for those in our community struggling with rising costs.

“We are in an area of high deprivation and with cost of living going up people are not going to the barber shops or looking after themselves as much. Haircuts are way down the priority list because the fuel bills and food shop is costing so much. The people that come to us tend to be on low incomes or on benefits so they have no spare cash. 

Haircuts in Horden

“We ran one special drop-in where people could come for a haircut and a hot drink with games and activities for kids. The college students also came when the coffee shop was open on a Friday. We hope they will come back again as the need is there.

“The clients were over the moon. There’s a feeling of wellbeing when your hair is done. When you look smart, you feel smarter in yourself and that’s good for your self-esteem. They did the hot shave and trimmed their beards. It was a full pamper session!”

Horden Salvation Army runs a full community programme including a drop-in on a Monday, parent and toddler groups, cookery classes and a coffee shop. They have a thriving garden which members of the community tend to.

They also provide emergency food parcels, but due to an increase in need and lack of donations have been forced to reduce the amount they give to people.

Angela continued: “We are not the main food bank in the area but do food parcels on an emergency basis. We are doing more now, about 10 to 15 a week, and I’m struggling because we’re not getting the donations. I have had to reduce the supply of food from three days’ worth to one day. People who would have donated are struggling themselves now.

“We also include hygiene packs with things like toiletries in. Hygiene poverty has increased because people are struggling to afford food let alone products like shower gels and shampoos, which has a real impact on their self-esteem.

“If you are in a position to donate to us please do get in contact, it will really help.”

You can phone Horden Salvation Army on 0191 586 3208, email or drop in to the building on Dene Street.

A woman sitting on the sofa with her children, she has her arms around her young daughter and they are both looking at and smiling at a teenage boy reading a kids book.

Support our Easter Appeal

Help people like Marianna make a fresh start and rebuild their lives.