Nescot’s Hairdressing students visited East Surrey Hospital on Monday (December 2) to provide free haircuts to patients.
Tutor Lisa Charles, who arranged the visit and accompanied the students, said it had been a ‘humbling’ experience for everyone involved.
“The students were extremely professional, and very kind to the patients,” Lisa said. “We had talked beforehand about what to expect, and I know the preparation helped them.
“It was a humbling and emotional experience for them, and it helped all of us to think about how much we take for granted and how quickly and suddenly anyone can get ill.”
Lisa was inspired to offer the department’s services after visiting her grandfather Kenneth in hospital the previous weekend.
Kenneth, who has dementia, had been given days to live. He had not been able to shave his face and asked Lisa to help, and she was struck by the impact that a clean-shaven face had on him.
“Having a neat and tidy appearance was really important to my grandfather’s generation, and not being able to take care of himself in that way was really upsetting for him,” Lisa said.
“Having a clean-shaven face gave him back his pride and self-worth, and I began to think that if something so simple could be so transformative then I wanted to extend that to other people.”
Lisa spoke to the nursing team, and plans were quickly put in place for her to visit with the team of students. Kenneth has since been discharged from the hospital and is being cared for at home.
The Hairdressing team have also been collecting donations of clothes for Sutton Night Watch as part of their annual Christmas appeal.
Students, staff and visitors had donated coats, jumpers, hats, gloves, socks, trainers, boots and sleeping bags to collection points across the campus.
Andy Fulker, Director of the charity, collected the donations today (Wednesday), and Lisa and tutors Jean and Martin are visiting tonight (Wednesday) to offer free haircuts to people affected by homeless.
Animal Studies students also donated to the charity after holding a sponsored ‘sleep out’ at the college.
Foundation Learning are appealing for donations for Epsom and Ewell Foodbank, students from Beauty and Uniformed Public Services have been raising funds for The Royal Marsden, and Computing students have raised more than £800 for The Children’s Trust.