By Kate Schmidt
Going to the hairdresser always leaves you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world, but many of us take the service for granted.
For some, especially those living on the street or in other forms of accommodation, getting a haircut is right out of their price range.But, thanks to local Brisbane hairstylist Stacey Bedrick, Rosies Friends of the Street patrons are able to enjoy that salon experience for free. She heads down to meet the Rosies crew at the Churches of Christ Pantry Assist Program in Annerley every six weeks and for two hours, spends time cutting hair and speaking to the patrons. For the past two years, she’s worked with Hair Aid, which is how she became involved with Rosies.“I was drawn to (charity work) because I’ve got the time and the skill and I thought I can do this,” she said. “I love meeting all the patrons that come here and have a chat with them.”
One of Stacey’s regular guests, Andrew, said the free haircuts went a long way in his predicament.“ It’s great when you get someone who does a really good job like Stacey. I’ve been in this hardship for nine years and when you do something like get a haircut it’s emotional and psychological, it’s not just a haircut. There’s practical things I need it for like appearance -when I talk to Stacey and we discuss style, it’s about trying to land a job and that’s damn hard.”
Valma is another guest who had her hair cut by Stacey during her visit to the pantry assist. “I’ve been meaning get it done for a couple of months,” she said. “It’s very hard for me to get out and about and the way that things have been I just go to about four different places and I don’t travel around too much. (When it gets hard) one of the things you forget about is your hair.“ I used to trim mine myself, but I have arthritis and I can’t lift my arm up to cut it anymore so it’s just been left. But it will be looking good after Stacey’s done with it!”
Lenny said Stacey was the most important person he’d come to see when he arrived at outreach. “I didn’t have a haircut for a whole year last year because it’s expensive and I’ve got bills to pay,” he said.
It was the pantry assist program that initially brought Rita to the Rosies van, but she also had her hair done. “I usually cut it myself because I had a perm but I am happy with the way that Stacey cuts my hair,” she said. Rita said she also enjoyed the community feel of outreach. “I’m happy to keep coming back, the people are very friendly and the social interaction is good.”
It is through partnering with organisations like Hair Aid that we can connect our patrons with additional services that can improve their self-esteem, health, and wellbeing.