Kind salon owners create Christmas window to help out worthy charity

From left, Shaun Chappell, co-owner, Kay Thompson, assistant support worker at Changing Lives, Marine Barrass and Amie-Beth Walker, both staff at the salon and Richard Chappell, co-owner.
From left, Shaun Chappell, co-owner, Kay Thompson, assistant support worker at Changing Lives, Marine Barrass and Amie-Beth Walker, both staff at the salon and Richard Chappell, co-owner.

Kind-hearted owners of a Wearside salon are inviting people to take a look at their festive window display and dig deep to help a worthy charity.

Hair By Chappell & Co, in Hetton’s Market Street, unveiled its special Christmas shop window this week, following the festive theme of ‘Santa’s Workshop’.

The festive window display at Hair by Chappell and Co in Hetton.

The festive window display at Hair by Chappell and Co in Hetton.

Featuring a five-foot animatronic Santa Claus, along with his cheeky elves, a roaring fire place and Christmas trees aplenty, the owners of the salon are hoping people will support their efforts by donating their spare change to Changing Lives.

The organisation is a national, registered charity based in the North East which provides specialist support services for 6,000 people and their families, every month, who are experiencing homelessness, addiction and a range of other problems by reaching out into communities.

Richard Chappell, who co-owns the salon with partner Shaun, said: “My husband and I love Christmas and so when we opened the salon in September 2016, we knew wanted our shop window to be a winter wonderland extravaganza.

“The word spread about our display and people starting coming from all over Sunderland to see the window.

“We had people calling in asking if we were doing it for charity and so the idea came us then that we could use our Christmas window to raise money for people less fortunate than us.”

Shaun added: “Being a hairdresser you become almost like an unofficial counsellor.

“When clients are sitting in the chair, they talk to you about what’s going on in their lives and often confide their problems in you.

“It makes you realise just how lucky you are.

“When one client said that her friend worked for Changing Lives and that they were looking for ways to raise more money to support vulnerable people in the area, we knew that’s where we wanted the money to go.”

Last year Hair By Chappell & Co raised over £200 for the charity, just by people calling in from the street and asking if they could make a donation.

This year, the husband-and-husband team are hoping to more than double what they raised last year and have set themselves an ambitious target of raising £400.

Kay Thompson, assistant support worker at Changing Lives, said: “A big thank you to Richard, Shaun and all of the customers at Hair By Chappell & Co for supporting the work of Changing Lives for the second year with their Christmas window.

“In today’s difficult financial climate, sadly, the demand for the work we do continues to rise and we need ever-increasing funds to support this.

A charity collection box has been set up inside of the salon.

People are welcome to come along, view the window, and pop in to leave a donation.

The box will then be collected on December 16 with all proceeds going to Changing Lives.