Tom Chapman, who set up the Lions Barber Collective in support of men’s mental health, has been awarded a Points of Light Award by Prime Minister Theresa May. The award recognises outstanding, individual volunteers who are making a change to their community.
The international collective, which was formed in 2015, arms barbers with the tools to recognise, talk, listen and advise clients, from their unique position of trust and regular contact. By offering a day-long training course called BarberTalk, and turning barbershops into a safe place to talk, the collective has created a bridge between clients experiencing mental health issues and the organisations that exist to help them.
In a personal letter written to Tom, Theresa May wrote: “The Lions Barber Collective is a brilliantly innovative initiative creating safe, non-judgemental spaces for men to open up about their mental health. By equipping barbers with the skills to have these conversations you are supporting them to use the trusted relationships they have with many of their clients to make a real difference.”
Tom said: “I am truly taken back by this honour; never did I expect The Lions Barber Collective to be as successful as it has become, nor get this level of recognition. A personal endorsement from the Prime Minister will no doubt help us to move forward, complete more work and raise more awareness than ever before. I cannot thank you enough for this award; I am moved, shocked and honoured. My late Grandad would have been especially proud.”
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