Barber Gives Homeless People Free Haircuts And Trains Them To Work In His Shop
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Ged King, from Manchester, left the army and decided to start his own business, opening up a barber shop in Sale - but he still felt like something was missing.
Speaking to LADbible, Ged said: "I'm somebody who has had a very turbulent life, I've had lots of ups and downs, I'm an ex-soldier and I always wanted to be a business owner.
"I got there, it took a long time to get my life straight and when I got there and created my barber shop I was very unfulfilled. I wasn't very happy and I couldn't understand why I've been chasing this thing for so long and felt that it wasn't right."
Trying to work out what it was that was missing, Ged took a camping trip to the Lake District to spend some time away from the city and finally realised why he didn't feel like he'd accomplished what he wanted.
"It wasn't enough to run my business and earn money, so I decided to put an advert out on our social media saying if you're homeless, you can come to the shop to use our services for free, and also if you're unemployed and you've got a job interview you can do the same thing. You can come in, get tidied up and we wish them luck with their job interview.
"And I'm proud to say we've got loyal customers now who we first met when they were unemployed and now they're working and they stick with us."
The first person to take Ged up on his offer had lived in a tent by the Manchester Ship Canal for two years and was told about the scheme by a dog walker who had passed him. After feeling unsure about entering the barbers to begin with, he had a coffee, a chat and had his hair cut and he left happy.
Ged explained: "It was a nice day for him and it what it did for me was ridiculous. This void that I had felt, I'd finally worked it out and so I decided I wanted to do more of it. It was that contribution that was missing in my life when I was just running the business."
From there, he started Street Cuts and the Skullfades Foundation. He cuts homeless people's hair in public spaces and what initially started as a weekly event in Manchester now takes place nationwide, with Ged and his 'tribe' heading out to London, Birmingham and even visiting refugee camps in Calais and Dunkirk.
So far, his team has given 3,000 haircuts for free, the equivalent of £48,000 ($63,000). None of the funding for his scheme comes from the government, with one of his main sources coming from a charity boxing night he put on in February, which raised £17,000 ($22,000).
He explains that the physiology of human contact and conversation is just as important as giving those less fortunate a sense of pride.
Ged has now opened two shops in south Manchester, where he hopes to catch the most vulnerable people before they become homeless, for example - those that come out of the care system, prison or the army.
Some of those he's helped so far, include his employee Dan. After spending eight years in jail, he learned how to barber; he now manages the shop, and is learning how to train new members.
Another of his employees suffered domestic violence and after spending time in a refuge, she was inspired to do a barbering course - she now trains in the shop too.
Ged has big plans for the future of the foundation, hoping to secure funding for a house for his new recruits to live in, and to eventually help 150,000 people across the country, by opening up shops all over the UK.
You can find out more about how to get involved and how to donate to this incredible cause here.
Featured Image Credit: @michellesegalphoto
Topics: Daily Ladness