Which of these will inspire you for Random Acts of Kindness Day?

By Sally Learmouth on February 2nd, 2024

February 11-17 is National Random Acts of Kindness Week, culminating on the 17th with Random Acts of Kindness Day. Suggested activities range from things that are free (paying a compliment, donating an item or your time) to paying it forward by buying someone a coffee. We’re always moved by how incredibly generous the hair industry is, bringing kindness all year round through raising money and donating services and time. Here’s just a sprinkling of magic from some of those spreading the love…

Award-winning salon owner Barrie Stephen has been the Ambassador for Leicester Animal Aid (LAA) since 2018. He says, “As well as having a passion for hair, I also have a lifelong passion for animal welfare, so it was a natural role for me to assume. I’m a dedicated pet owner myself, with a small menagerie at home, so I know what a difference animals can make to our lives. Working with LAA is a way for me to help abandoned animals find loving homes, as well as making sure that pet owners with additional needs get that support so that they can maintain those important relationships with canine and feline companions.

In my role as Ambassador, I help the charity to raise their profile amongst my own network and with the local press. Some of the best opportunities we have had to reach a new audience for LAA have fundraising events too. We’ve held a number of sponsored walks, supported by other local businesses, and even a dog talent show which made national headlines!

I love organising the events and they’re always really fun. My dog, Dolly, loves to socialise with other furry friends and we raise funds that help to support LAA’s ongoing projects, from animal rehoming schemes to the Pet Food Bank and Community Pet Support Scheme. So far, I’m so proud that we’ve raised £20,000 and I know that money will have touched a lot of lives for the better, both animal and human.

For me personally, the role has brought a lot of positivity and inspiration to my life. It’s so important to find a way to add value to your community, and Leicester Animal Aid allow me to feel that I’m making a tangible difference for animals in need – one of the most enduring loves of my life.

Sometimes it can feel like around the day-to-day of running a business, there’s no time for anything else. On those days, my pets are more important than ever for my mental health. I believe that everyone can carve out a small amount of time to give back to a cause that’s important to them. When you dedicate time to your hobbies and passions, it’s never a chore. It’s everyone’s duty to try and leave the world a little bit better than we found it.”

Nuala Morey is owner of a curl specialist salon in Bristol, and she’s found a way to consistently raise money for local charity The Jessie May Foundation charity (providing at home nursing and respite care for children and young people with a terminal/life-limiting condition throughout the South West) by adding a voluntary 50p donation to clients’ bills, and matching it with a 50p donation from the salon. She’s also running the Bristol half marathon this year raising money for Children With Cancer UK. 

Chris Grimley is the owner of Fusion Hair Co in Lincolnshire. She volunteers for the Not Home Alone charity, which arranges get togethers for older people on special occasions when they would otherwise be on their own. As well as offering transport to guests on event days and serving food to them, Chris uses her salon as a hub for shoe box donations at Christmas and fundraises all year round to donate to the charity. She recently appeared on TV’s Steph’s Packed Lunch to talk about volunteering on Christmas Day and to raise awareness for the charity. Chris says, “My husband and I volunteer together and we’ve been doing it for four years, except in COVID when we delivered the dinners instead. We do more than one event a year so they have company for occasions like the Jubilee and coronation, Easter, usually 3-4 times a year. 

Along with other volunteers, we go and collect around 70 guests and bring them to the hotel who do all the cooking; we serve the food, look after the guests and take them home again. 

The shoeboxes are all donated by our clients and various people that see the Facebook page; the salon is a collection point for the boxes. The dinners are paid for by donations so we put fundraising events on throughout the year at the salon, it’s all literally thanks to local donations. 

“I’ve been hairdressing for 35 years now, which is very community based; I’ve got two grown up boys and sadly I don’t have any older people in my life anymore – my nana was my biggest fan but she’s been gone awhile and I lost my mum two years ago so I just wanted to give back locally, it’s just a nice thing to do really, I love it! 

Gina Conway puts philanthropy at the heart of her salon’s philosophy, saying “My mother always taught me to leave the world a better place than I found it, so I’ve carried that through into everything we do at the salon.” As Aveda’s top fundraising salon in the UK, Gina was invited to join WaterAid on a trip to Andhra Pradesh. She says, “It was incredible to see the amazing work that the charity is doing but also a stark reminder of how tough it is in other parts of the world, especially for women and girls. I learned that 1 out of 3 people in the world don’t have access to a toilet, and I met the head of education, community leaders, health workers and local children who told us stories of how they live and the social stigmas and dangers associated with outdoor toilets. They told us how women are only allowed to go outside to the toilet in the early morning or after dark to preserve their dignity. This causes many health issues in addition to the threat of snakes, scorpions and sexual predators.” 

Gina is also a volunteer for Haircuts for Homeless in the UK, but extends this outside of the organised days. “It’s been so cold recently and we had a lady sitting outside on the pavement a little way down the road – we invited her in to have her hair and nails done but really wanted to make sure she got warm, had a coffee and some kind human contact with the care of a head and hand massage.”

We hope this has inspired you and we’d love to hear some of your own stories – tag us on Instagram @salongoldinsurance

Sally Learmouth

Sally is the founder of Gloss Communications which specialises in lifestyle public relations, from traditional PR across print, online and television, through to influencers and social media management, events and copywriting. Since 2005, Gloss has created hugely successful PR campaigns. Having created successful campaigns for Jack Howard, Luke Benson, Jamie Stevens, Errol Douglas, Karine Jackson, Cally Borg, Tina Hollis, Christopher Appleton, O&M, Nine Yards, Authentic Beauty Concept, Trevor Sorbie and more.

All articles by Sally Learmouth

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