Wo Salon hairdresser Kara Pearson goes extra mile for NHS staff in Torbay

Wo Salon in Torbay

Wo Salon in Torbay - Credit: Archant

The Torbay Weekly has reported so many stories of individuals and businesses going the extra mile to help those NHS staff at the frontline of Covid- 19. This week, we feature Torbay hairdresser Kara Pearson, proprietor of WO Salon, who writes passionately about her efforts. Kara is the latest member of the 'Torbay Weekly' business family having signed up to sponsor Colin Lee's column which appears on the sports pages every fortnight:

It's the beginning of lockdown and already there is a sense of overwhelming respect for the NHS. As we closed the doors of WO salon not knowing when we will re-open, my thoughts were actually already elsewhere with the frontline workers.

Even in the very early stages of lockdown, I could see what stresses where being put upon these superheroes. After a week in lockdown WO received a message from one of the local nurses from Torbay Hospital, asking if we had any leftover or half-used shampoo from the salon they could have.

Working with Covid-19, they would need to wash their hair up to four times a day - this would result in a costly expense for those already putting themselves in a vulnerable position to help save us.

I obviously responded and told her I would not be able to give you the half-used shampoo because its not enough, I will go to the salon and completely clear all our retail stock and bring it up to the hospital for them to use or take home.

They were so grateful for something so simple, as having the full-size bottles meant they could at least go a couple of weeks without purchasing any hair care.

I emptied every shampoo and conditioner/treatments, then drove up to the hospital and dropped them off at reception.

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I received a few thank you messages which wasn't necessary, as there just isn't enough shampoo in world to thank them for all efforts being made for the South West.

Another couple of weeks passed and as most of us I was passing time on social media, I was taken back by all the frontline workers, key workers absolutely everyone putting themselves at risk and felt so emotional for what their families were maybe going through too. I sat wondering how scared they all must feel,

I also have four members of my own family working at Torbay Hospital two of those on Covi-19 wards. Seeing the pictures of the marks on their faces from PPE if and when they received it, made me think that I could possibly give some of these wonderful people something to look forward too after lockdown.

A lot of business had done some amazing competitions and giveaways to keep spirits high, some even did raffles so that someone got huge prizes which is fantastic and huge respect to all those involved.

We could have teamed up with others to give away one prize but it just didn't feel enough to me for one or two people to be that lucky.

There and then I decided I would do a week's worth of free hairdressing to fit in as many clients as possible, no limits on what they want totally my treat as way of thanks.

Although we could be closed for months I figured what's one more week!

The NHS has kept my family safe and I will be forever grateful for this.

In years ahead I will always remember this unprecedented time and those stepped up with only others in their thoughts.

It's a hard time and so many local businesses will struggle to recover from the longer-term impact of Covid-19.

Two suppliers have stepped up to the plate, however, and we have had offers to help me in this initiative.

LD Rogers Construction have offered to pay for the electricity supply for a week, and Morgan Hair Supplies are giving every person I manage to fit in for an appointment a free hair care 'goodie bag' to take home.

This dreadful situation has created so much unity throughout Torbay and I was completely shocked by such supportive gestures from others to help me to help others.

A massive thank you to them and huge respect for the act of kindness.

One thing I always wanted WO to be known for is the doing right by others at the right time, sometimes you are given an opportunity to practice what preach... so I did. Stay safe all,