When Casey Munyard saw an advertisement for a volunteer hairdresser to help at The Footpath Library’s Hub service in Sydney, she jumped at the chance.
“I was looking to volunteer my time as I wanted to give back to people who need it most in our community, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity,’ said Casey, who has been a hairdresser for 10 years, and works at The Doll Studio in Menai, NSW.
Casey was surprised to find out that there was only one hairdresser volunteering monthly to provide free haircuts at The Hub – a one-stop-shop of services – for people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness.
“The hairdressing community is very large, so to find out there was one hairdresser on board at The Hub shocked me, and motivated me to get involved,” said Casey.
Casey has volunteered her time and hairdressing skills since December 2022, coming to each Hub service at the Hannaford Community Centre in Rozelle, and according to Angela Speck, Programs Manager for The Footpath Library in Sydney, Casey already has endeared herself to people who attend the service.
“It’s lovely to have Casey join us at The Hub,” explained Angela. “She is so vivacious and has such a wonderful manner with our clients. We are lucky to have both Casey and Kirsten volunteering their time for people who otherwise would not be able to afford, or have access to, a hairdresser.”
The Hub has been operating for 18 months, and The Footpath Library has seen a steady increase in people attending each month.
“What is proving successful with The Hub is that people may come for one particular need, such as a haircut, but then they stay and connect with other services,” said Angela. “Maybe they come to apply for a birth certificate or talk with a counsellor, but then they may see the podiatrist, have a haircut, and sait down for a bit to eat with others, or select a book or two. The opportunity to access a range of services in the one place and for social connection is just so important.”
“The best part of being a hairdresser is making people feel better about themselves, being able to make people smile is priceless,” said Casey. “I’ve had many clients tell me how much better they feel after a haircut, or even a friendly chat.”
“The Hub offers so many great services, judgement free,” said Casey. “The benefits are limitless, whether someone just comes for coffee, or they connect with a professional service… everyone leaves The Hub feeling better and that’s a great thing.”