Volunteering skills at homelessness charity is a snip

By Emmaus

20 Feb 2023

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Emmaus in Lancashire is calling for local businesses to support people working their way out of homelessness, after linking up with volunteer hairdressing team Haircuts 4 Homeless. 

Six beneficiaries of the Emmaus charity department store at Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre received free hair makeovers recently, signalling the start of a new volunteering relationship. 

Haircuts 4 Homeless plan to continue their visits permanently, supporting the homelessness charity’s drive to restore lost confidence and boost self esteem among people in need. 

Emmaus in Lancashire helps adults with experience of homelessness, providing homes, personalised support, and meaningful work and training for adults. Funding comes from the sale of second hand and new goods at Emmaus Department Store in Rochdale Exchange on Market Way, and three charity stores in Preston.

Volunteer Hannah Yates visited the Rochdale store on behalf of the Haircuts 4 Homeless team, offering free restyles to people being supported by Emmaus. Hannah works five days a week at Hair By Lisa Prescott in Tarleton in addition to volunteering. 

Inspiration to volunteer

Hannah said: “I was inspired to start coming to Emmaus Department Store to speak to people and cut hair, after seeing the care that Emmaus provides for people who have been homeless.  

“We all know how a haircut makes us feel; our hair is the crown we never take off. To give up a few hours of my time costs nothing, but the way it makes the client feel makes it all worthwhile. 

“I personally like working with Emmaus because people there want to help themselves and each other towards better outcomes. People helped by Emmaus are very well supported and I feel that when I visit Emmaus communities. I’m so grateful that I’m able to use my skills as a hairdresser to make people feel better.” 

Haircuts 4 Homeless is a charity on a mission to help homeless people feel better by cutting hair, supported by many well-known names within the industry. Volunteers work with charities and people who are street homeless across the UK, and Hannah is looking forward to continue visiting Emmaus Department Store in Rochdale on a regular basis, in addition to Emmaus' community home in Preston, to give free haircuts in the future. 

Volunteering your skills

Director of Emmaus in Lancashire, Stephen Buchanan, said: “It was brilliant to welcome Haircuts 4 Homeless to Emmaus Department Store. Everyone was really excited to welcome Hannah and pleased with the results. 

“Emmaus in Lancashire is on the look out for businesses and organisations who would like to help and would like to open up a voluntary skills library to help people receiving support here with health and wellbeing opportunities as well as work experience and training. 

“Taking care of yourself can be a low priority, or all but impossible, for people struggling to find food, somewhere to live or someone to turn to. It’s wonderful to see stylists and barbers volunteering their time. We would love more local organisations to come on board to help Emmaus support people to start feeling more human again.” 

How Emmaus helps

At Emmaus, people with experience of homelessness are helped with life skills, support with health, wellbeing and the management of finances in order to progress towards independent living.  

By living in a communal setting, Emmaus fosters a sense of companionship and routine. Training is also available to help people move into meaningful employment when they are ready to leave. 

If you or your organisation or business would like to volunteer, please take a look at the roles and opportunities at Emmaus in Burnley and Rochdale here or at Emmaus in Preston here. The charity welcomes volunteering as part of corporate social responsibility programmes and work placements. Please get in touch using our online form if there is another way you would like to support.

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