Ayrshire school a cut above the rest after forming unique hairdressing partnership with charity

Grange Academy has formed a unique link-up with a local charity to bring top quality hairdressing to the school for pupils and families.

The Kilmarnock school has tied up with East Ayrshire Churches Homelessness Action (EACHa) Cut N Connect, which provides a mobile hairdressing and barber service.

The initiative is partly funded by the Renewable Energy Fund and serves as a platform for community engagement and empowerment, signposting individuals to other services they may require such as recovery support, benefits assistance and housing.

Principal Teacher Ewin Murray heard about the new initiative and saw a great opportunity for the school’s young people and their parents and carers, saying: “When I heard about Cut N Connect, I could see how beneficial this initiative could be for our young people and also their families.

“Scott Robertson, our Head of Campus, was totally on board so I reached out to Cut N Connect to see what would be possible. Brendan and Gayle from the charity were so enthusiastic and it was agreed that they would attend the school on a monthly basis, with the first visit taking place last week.

“I have to say that seeing the first couple of our young people getting their hair cut, really hit home how important this is. It helps their confidence and feelings of wellbeing and the Cut N Connect team are really friendly and supportive.

“If we can help our young people in a dignified and respectful way then we are delighted to make this happen.”

-Credit:east ayrshire council
-Credit:east ayrshire council

Local members Councillors Douglas Reid, Lillian Jones and James Adams visited the school to meet the Cut N Connect team, to find out more about the charity and view their mobile hairdressing van, which has solar panels that allows it to run without mains power, a coffee machine, sound proofing and the best of equipment.

Gayle Watson, Trustee, EACHa Cut and Connect, said: “We have only been up and running since March but we already have 20 locations across East Ayrshire that we visit on a monthly basis and now Grange Academy, our first school.

“This is a first in Scotland, and we are pretty sure that it is a first in the UK, and are delighted to work with Scott Robertson, Ewin Murray, PC Campbell, and the whole Grange team, on this really exciting initiative.

“We have seen the transformative effects of our work in this very short time and know that we are going to have a significant impact on the school community. As a team, we can’t wait to see where this journey takes us.”

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