Haircuts4Homeless Marks 10 Years of its Mission

Published 23rd Apr 2024 by Josie Jackson

2024 sees Haircuts4Homeless (H4H) celebrate its 10th year. Since being established by founder Stewart Roberts, the charity has opened more than 80 projects across the UK and Ireland, recruited 600 volunteers and given over 60,000 free haircuts.

In 2014, having spent 40 years in the hair business, Stewart was inspired to set up the charity while he was volunteering for the Salvation Army in Romford and decided to bring along his scissors one day. Today, in its tenth year, H4H has built a community of skilled hairdressing volunteers who give their time, free of charge, to provide haircuts for homeless people. The registered charity operates around the UK offering regular haircuts to the homeless.

Stewart says: “The impact of our work is uniquely measured in smiles. It may sound flippant, but the best measurement is the before and after photos and videos we have of the guests. You see them transform before your eyes. Their demeanour, mood and confidence are boosted with the service we give. We often get thanked by a guest who had an interview and got the job; or saw their child for the first time in a long time and felt proud of their appearance. Most hairdressers aim to keep a client for life but for us, it’s great when we see a guest for the last time because it usually means they have been allocated accommodation and are moving on in their life.”

Stewart was awarded an MBE for his charitable work in the New Year’s Honours list in 2022. In the same year, H4H launched its Ambassador Programme, which spreads the goodwill of its community of skilled hairdressing volunteers even further. The Ambassador Programme is a way for hair salons, barbers and spas throughout the UK to support the charity by adding a donation to their services, which goes towards a haircut for a person in need.

Fundraising efforts are a continuous challenge and Stewart openly admits the charity’s ever-growing need for support. “One of people’s basic rights is for them to feel good about themselves and H4H has always been about helping people to achieve that,” he says. “The hairdressing industry is known for its generosity and willingness to help people – we see that in the volunteers who so readily come to us. But we want to empower even more homeless people to reclaim the self-worth and dignity they deserve. Whether it’s a little or lot, we rely on ongoing support, which enables us to deliver, grow and develop this service for the homeless.”

To find out more about becoming an ambassador or volunteer, click here, or give them a follow on @haircuts4homelessuk.

To donate a £4 haircut to a homeless person simply text 4haircut to 70470. You will be charged £4 plus your mobile fee – and you could just change someone’s life.

Josie Jackson

Josie Jackson

Published 23rd Apr 2024

Josie supports the team with content for the print magazine, website and social media channels at HJ. Having grown up in a salon environment (thanks to her hairdresser mum) and even working as a Saturday girl before getting her degree in English Literature, Josie feels right at home in the industry. Although she’s experimented with a few creative colour looks in the past, she always comes back to blonde, and loves all things hydrating and bond building.

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