Cork hairdresser providing free hair cuts for needy Holy Communion children

A Cork hairdresser who is providing free hair cuts for Holy Communion children who come from vulnerable or needy backgrounds has encouraged salons across the country to follow his lead.

Joseph Byrne, of Joseph's Salon in Glasheen on the southside of Cork city, cuts hair for the homeless throughout the year and especially at Christmas.

He is currently also collecting Easter Eggs for the Penny Dinners Charity in Cork and for men and women on the streets.

Joseph says he has found it enormously enriching to help the vulnerable in society in this way.

He stresses that when life is about surviving the elements having your hair washed and styled can have a benefit to your spirit which far outweighs how you look in the salon mirror.

"I had an experience with a man last year where he got very emotional because he got his hair shampooed.

"It wasn't the fact that he was getting his hair cut. It was the physical contact. He was saying 'I haven't had this for so long.' The warmth of the place and the girl washing his hair.”

Joseph is now turning his attention to helping Holy Communion children in need.

His dedicated staff on the Glasheen Road are fully on board. However, he needs a couple of extra volunteer hairdressers for the Holy Communion days which will occur in May.

We are going to be very busy because we have so many days of it. The girls and boys will be in the morning of the communion. It will be a great day for them.

If anyone is out there and needs help to be done on their day put them in touch. We are also looking for volunteer hairdressers. The whole idea is that you will have a girl or a boy in with his or her mum. Neither will be paying. But nobody will know that.

Meanwhile, the Easter Eggs for the homeless are coming in "like hotcakes" at the moment.

They will be donated to Penny Dinners and to Edel House and Cuan Lee in addition to homeless on the streets.

Joseph says it is amazing to be able to extend his work to Holy Communion children.

"Kids are so excited about the Communion. We already have some people booked in. They will be special days for us."

Volunteer hairdressers or anyone who needs assistance or would like to be of help can contact Joseph on 086 384 0606.

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