Booming Northampton barber business to offer free haircuts to the homeless

Barbershop owner Jake Hillery says he wants to give something back to the community by offering free haircuts to the homeless.
Barbershop owner Jake Hillery says he wants to give something back to the community by offering free haircuts to the homeless.

A barber is launching a monthly haircut club for Northampton's homeless men after being so moved by the plight of street sleepers near one of his shops.

Jake Hillery, who lives in St James, set up business two years ago and already runs five barber shops and a hair training academy in Northampton.

But, after he was awarded a £10,000 grant by Northampton Borough Council to renovate The Gent in Gold Street, Mr Hillery says he wants to give something back to the community.

Starting next Tuesday, the business owner will have two barbers' chairs available at Northampton's Hope Centre offering free haircuts for those without a home.

And the 27-year-old is hoping to continue the free cuts once a month.

"I've not really done anything for charity before," he said. "But in the town centre I see a lot of homeless people walking by the shop - it's not very nice.

"I just wanted to do something to help and this is the best way I know."

Next Tuesday, April 24, four of Mr Hillery's staff barbers will man two chairs for the day at the Hope Centre.

But in following months the boss is hoping the monthly Hope Centre sessions will provide vital practise for graduates of his Quarters Barbering Academy.

He said: "When people graduate they need to practise and if you don't get a job straight away it can be tough.

"This is a perfect opportunity to get plenty of experience cutting hair, we will be helping people to feel much better about themselves in the process."