Local barber provides free haircuts for Launchpad’s veterans

Thanks to free haircuts by a local barber, veteran residents living at Launchpad’s Avondale House, Newcastle upon Tyne, are all set for Christmas.

41 year old Lee Bonner qualified as a barber this year after successfully completing his Level 2 in Barbering at Newcastle College.

Lee was inspired to become a barber because his seven-year-old son is autistic and has sensory issues.  These include finding it difficult in allowing strangers to cut his hair. And Lee developed a passion for barbering and styling after cutting his son’s hair for four years.

All 33 residents living at Avondale House were invited. And Lee was joined by his good friend Raymond Denholm who is also a professional hairdresser and has been in the industry for over 20 years.

Barber Raymond cutting local residents hair in Avondale House.

Lee said:

I’m really pleased Launchpad took me up on my offer. When I grew up, I didn’t have much help and support and I think we could all do with that right now – not just because of the current cost of living crisis but I know talking to some of the guys in here today, Christmas is going to be a really tough time for some of them. I just wanted to use the new skills I’ve learned and help them out. Some of the guys were at work so I’ve arranged to come back another time before Christmas so they can benefit too.

Sam Hughes, Assistant Manager – Projects at Launchpad, said: “It’s been wonderful for the residents to have someone come into the house and provide this service to them. It’s not just about getting a free haircut, it’s about interacting and communicating with other people outside of the house. They really enjoyed it and we were able to lay on bacon and sausage butties for them as part of the breakfast club.”

Jonathan, one of the residents living at Avondale House who benefitted from a free haircut, said: “It was really thoughtful of Lee and Raymond to come in today and offer their services. They’ve done a great job, I’m really pleased.”