Organiser set for 13th event helping others

Free Haircuts and Other Services for Southlanders in Need organiser Melissa Aitken is on the lookout for more hairdressers and barbers for the event on Sunday, February 20.

FREE Haircuts and Other Services for Southlanders in Need organiser Melissa Aitken is asking members of the public for help.

The bi-annual event looked to provide free services to those in need.

Often there were 11 different affiliations who helped on the day, she said.

“We are calling out for hairdressers and a couple of barbers, beauty and massage therapists, manicurists, physios and just anyone who would like to help out.”

Members of the public could also donate non-perishable items and essential products.

Preloved quality clothing, shoes, books and other items would also be welcomed, she said.

“It’s a chance for people to have a spring clean in their homes but we would love for people to donate items.”

The event will be held in Invercargill on Sunday, February 13, at the Aurora College gymnasium, through the Tramway Rd entrance.

Ms Aitken was looking forward to the 13th event in its eighth year.

“Last year, there were about 480 people who came through the door.”

She described the event as a “humbling experience”.

“There is not one event so far where we don’t have people hugging us or showing their appreciation and if it’s not me, it’s one of my helpers.”

St John Ambulance would be available to pick up and drop off people if required, if they booked by February 11, she said.

She had seen the positive impact of the event two years ago when, during winter, 1100 people turned up to the day.

This year’s event would be different as people would require proof of vaccination passes.

“People who aren’t double vaccinated will miss out on this humbling day, but unfortunately it is what it is.”

She was grateful to Aurora College’s staff members and caretaker Dan Knowler.

“The students and staff are amazing and help bring chairs and tables from the science labs and classes but now they’ve designated me a storage room in the hall.”

Anyone wishing to donate goods could drop them off at the Southland Express office at 5 The Crescent, Invercargill.

  • For more information, go to the Free haircuts/services for Southlanders Facebook page.
  • People wanting to book a ride with St John Ambulance can do so by phoning Ms Aitken on 0275 333 600.