Can you tell us about the learning process on the programme? Everybody has had issues and traumas in their life, so at Level 1 we focus on self esteem and positive thinking. We’ll do all of our sessions together so that we can build a support system. Level 2 is purely hairdressing, which has never been a problem as I love it, so I just teach it from a passionate point of view. Although Level 1 is a simple qualification I take it very seriously and won’t sign them off unless I’m happy to have them blow-drying on my shop floor.
What are some of the difficulties you face when running these courses? I absolutely love the work we do here and I enjoy every session. The struggles are more with the council. I was quite naive in the beginning in thinking that everyone goes above and beyond their job role like we do. But I now understand why they can’t, because of pay cuts and the fact that they are doing three people’s jobs instead of one.
What’s in store for the future? We recently presented at an event held in London by the DCLG (Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government), where council members discuss good practice. We were used as an example and asked how our system could be recreated in other areas, but right now we don’t have the team to be able to confidently go and set someone up in another borough. We currently have three teachers that have been through our academy and I would like to bring people up with me rather than hiring new people who don’t understand what we’re about. So, for the future – more of us. One of us in every borough!