Community under pressure

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Free Haircuts and Other Services for those in Need organiser Melissa Aitken. PHOTO: LAURA SMITH

THE need may be even greater thanks to Covid-19.

That’s the message from Free Haircuts and Other Services for those in Need organiser Melissa Aitken, who is busily getting ready for the August event.

The impact of the pandemic has hit the community hard with many still to find out whether their jobs are safe.

“Everyone is aware of how much Covid has affected everybodies’ lives,” Ms Aitken said.

“Winter is when a lot of people are struggling anyway, some people have no money for food left once they’ve paid their electricity bill.”

That is why it was important if people could donate cash (used to buy food handed out at the event), non-perishable grocery items, clothing, blankets or footwear, they took this opportunity to help those who needed it most, she said.

The event will be the 10th, with two events per year for the past five years.

“I hope we can make this the biggest, best event we’ve ever had,” Ms Aitken said.

Invitations were sent out to members of the community who were most in need, through social service organisations and lower-decile schools and kindergartens, she said.

She was still looking for people who could provide services to donate their time and expertise.

Among the list of industry specialists still required was a beautician for brow shaping, as well as five more hairdressers, she said.

“I’m also keen to hear from anyone who has a service they think could benefit members of the community.”

Organisations such as St John Ambulance, which would help transport people to and from the event, NZ Electric, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Complete Wellness, Bloody Buddies, a dentist, nurse and massage therapist, would all be on hand to help.

There will also be two ukelele groups, singer Liv Cochrane and the James Hargest College Kapa Haka group who would entertain throughout the afternoon.

Any items such as good-quality preloved clothing and footwear, non-perishable food items, blankets, sanitary products, nappies and toiletries, could be be dropped off at the Southland Express office (Monday to Friday) before noon on Friday, July 31.

Anyone wanting to help with the event, seeking transport, or wanting more information, could contact Ms Aitken on 275 333 600 or visit the Free Haircuts Facebook page.

  • The event would be held at Aurora College on Sunday, August 2.
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