Barbering academy helps Sunderland barbershop wrecked by blaze to reopen

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A businesswoman who lost her new barber shop in a devastating fire is getting ready to start again - thanks to help from her fellow stylists.

When fire engulfed popular restaurant Borneo Bistro, on Hylton Road, earlier this month it also caused significant damage to the neighbouring business, Barbering@SR4.

SB Barbering Academy Vikki Smith donates barber equipment to Noor Stevens (R)

SB Barbering Academy Vikki Smith donates barber equipment to Noor Stevens (R)

Owner Noor Stevens was reduced to tears when she saw the destruction to the barbers she had put so much time, effort and money into.

But in another blow, the mum-of-four realised that her insurance didn’t fully cover the damage.

Read more: Sunderland businesswoman devastated after fire tears through popular barbers

A training college, SB Barbering Academy, heard of her struggles and got in touch to offer their help.

SB Barbering Academy Vikki Smith donates barber equipment to Noor Stevens (R)

SB Barbering Academy Vikki Smith donates barber equipment to Noor Stevens (R)

Related: ‘Sunderland needs you’ - readers react to news of ‘devastating’ fire at Borneo Bistro

Noor said: “I want to say a massive thank you for all of their help.

“They messaged me and asked if there was anything they could do and they’ve donated chairs and equipment that I can use to get up and running again.

“My barbers is just gone. I think it’s going to be knocked down but I’m not sure.

Inside Barbering@SR4 after the fire in Hylton Road

Inside Barbering@SR4 after the fire in Hylton Road

“I thought that I was insured for more than I was.

“I was only insured for £2,300 so donations from SB Barbering Academy have been a huge help.

“I’m desperate to get started again. I’ve now passed my level 2 barbering course with ALD training academy in Birtley so I will be able to join my barber Ryan when we open.”

Related: Borneo Bistro promises it will be back as it thanks supporters in wake of blaze

Thanks to the support of the barbering community, Noor is hopeful that she will be able to reopen Barbering@SR4 at a new property in 68 Hylton Road in the coming weeks.

Vikki Smith, owner and lead educator at the SB Barbering Academy, said: “We were in the process of changing our chairs and Ian Taylor, who works for us, saw the news about the fire and we thought we might be able to help.

“We’re a bit of a hub in the barbering community, even though we didn’t train them we wanted to do what we could.

“I think Noor was a little bit overwhelmed. From what she was saying it’s going to make her life so much easier.

“I’m just happy we could help really.”

SB Barbering Academy, which opened four years ago, has donated two barber chairs to Noor as well as a care package with products, gowns, neck brushes and more.

Noor said: “I sat one of the hair cut exams last week after the fire. I’m just determined to get up and running again.

“Our lease is almost ready to sign. The property is still close to our customers.

“I think it’s really lovely that Vikki from SB Barbering Academy got in touch. It’s not even where I trained and they wanted to help.

“I also want to thank ALD training academy, where I’ve trained, for their messages of support.”