One of the rising stars in the hairdressing world is off to Uganda in March, to use her skills on children who need haircuts before being allowed to attend school.
Former SDC pupil Sophie Appleton-Hendy may only be 21-years-of-age, but she’s already making quite a name for herself after winning a gold award at the World Skills UK Competitions National Finals last November.
The prestigious three-day event at the NEC in Birmingham showcased the skills of 500 apprentices from across the UK.
Sophie, who works at Tommy’s Hair Company, in Craig y Don, had to do five different tasks over the three days doing various things from barbering to doll hair.
“I didn’t even want to go, as I didn't feel prepared enough because of my growing work commitments, but as the trains were booked I thought I might as well,” said Sophie, whose mother is SDC’s head of performing arts, Jenny Appleton.
“It was a fantastic experience as we were all in a huge arena, and there were loads of apprentices showing off their skills from welding to 3D game design to cabinet making.”
Sophie hadn’t even thought of taking up hairdressing as an occupation, until a hairdresser at Tommy’s suggested she should join their teaching academy.
“I was having my hair done for the sixth form leaver’s ball and the person doing my hair was asking what I was going to do after leaving school,” she said.
“After they heard I was quite creative and enjoyed DT they suggested I should think of hairdressing, and I’ve never looked back.”
Sophie is raising money so that she can gift hair clippers to schools in Uganda.
She explained: “In order for children to attend school in Africa it’s imperative they have short haircuts as its believed disease can be passed by hair.
“Hair clippers cost between £50 to £100 so I’m trying to raise money to take some with me in March, as they will help children that otherwise couldn’t go to school receive an education.”