Barber shop opens to boost mood of patients at Preston secure mental care hospital

A new barber shop has opened to allow service users to enjoy a fresh haircut at the Guild Lodge, Preston.

The barbers had originally been due to open just before Covid-19 hit but had to pause its launch because of the pandemic.

Guild Lodge, which is a mental health inpatient unit, determined that committing to an on-site hairdressers would benefit service users more than bringing in a community hairdresser.

Jennifer Gardner, occupational therapy (OT) manager at Guild Lodge, said: “We all recognise the benefits of a fresh haircut and how it can have a positive effect on our mood and confidence.

Staff inside the new barbers shop

“From discussions with our service users, we discovered they felt more comfortable attending an appointment with a known staff member, rather than a community hairdresser. With some great luck I found out one of the occupational therapy technical instructors had a ten year background in barbering and was interested in this role.”

Tracy Cookscowen, Director of Operations for the Specialised Services network at LSCft explains: “The occupational therapy, nursing and medical teams have pulled together to make this happen, but the brain child behind the look and trademark for the barber shop came from our service users themselves.

“Everyone should be really proud of this achievement and we aren’t stopping there. We plan to develop opportunities for vocational training using the barbershop as the springboard. So the Guild Barbers is one to watch.”