Barbering students at Kingston College attended a full day workshop with Tom Chapman, founder of The Lions Barber Collective, an international movement which builds on the unique relationship between barbers and their clients to prevent suicide and save lives.

After losing a friend to suicide, Tom made it his mission to propel the stigma of mental ill health among men into the mainstream and so in 2015 the Lions Barber Collective was founded, with Tom making regular appearances in the media to raise the profile of such important work.

Tom commented: “I truly believe in the value barbering, hair and beauty professionals have to the community they serve. By delivering this training to the students we are not only preparing them for the difficult conversations they may have when behind the chair, but also providing a safe space for their clients. We can bridge the gap between those suffering and the resources available and save lives. If we continue to train the students over time everyone in the community will have a safe space and in turn have huge positive impact on the wellbeing of everyone.”

Jenny Wiltshire, Team Leader for Barbering, Hair & Beauty at Kingston College commented: “Our students were really inspired by this visit and considered The Lions Barber Collective workshop invaluable to their understanding of the relationship between barbers and their clients. They underwent training in how to recognise symptoms of mental ill health in clients and signpost them to relevant support services, and are now better equipped to recognise, talk and listen out for symptoms of depression.”

More about The Lions Barber Collective:

  • Winner of the Points of Light Award from Prime Minister, Theresa May
  • Winner at British Hairdressing Business Awards, Modern Barber Awards, Most Wanted Awards, Fellowship of British Hairdressing
  • Author of The Barber Boom - Creating a New Sub-Culture, BarberTalk, The Mighty Lions & The Big Match and How To Listen so Men Will Talk available now on Amazon.
  • Watch Tom’s TED Talk here.