The Byron Community Barber Program is open for trade, and will teach basic work and life skills to five young and aspiring barbers.
Christian Tancred from the Byron Youth Service (BYS) told The Echo the team at the Youth Activities Centre (YAC) were seeking new and creative ways to engage young men in the community, so they transformed the old board room into a fully functioning barbershop.
‘Five young men from Byron High School will be mentored in the trade skills of barbering, and learn to cut the hair of role models in the community’, he said.
‘In doing so they learn communication, self-care, and respect with a focus on positive aspects of masculinity’.
Creating a inviting and safe space
Morgan O’Hara, barber and youth mentor, said it is important to create a space that is inviting and safe for young men to socialise, learn the basics of the trade but also develop life skills around positive masculinity and self-care.
‘We’ve seen great commitment from our young barbers and it seems like having their own shop which they are responsible for is making a difference in their lives,’ he said.
Christian says role models from the community are invited into the space for a haircut and to share stories and life wisdoms with the young men.
‘This is designed to bridge generational gaps but also to foster respect, focus and a greater sense of the world around them.
‘This community barbershop will provide a meaningful activity, but also contributes to the self-esteem of participants and helps reposition them in the community of Byron Shire in a positive light.
‘Staff at The YAC are looking for volunteers to take part in the program and all haircuts will be supervised by a professional barber mentor, so there will be no shockers’.
For more information, phone 6685 7777, or email [email protected]