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Brentwood hairdressing charity Spargoland wins top award for innovation of the year

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:01 19 September 2018

The Spargoland team. Picture:Jon Bradley Photography Ltd

The Spargoland team. Picture:Jon Bradley Photography Ltd

Jon Bradley Photography Ltd 2018

When your loved one has got a learning or physical disability, even the small everyday things are a challenge.

TV presenter Vernon Kay with members of the Spargoland team.TV presenter Vernon Kay with members of the Spargoland team.

In a bid to make something as normal as a haircut that little bit easier, Ian Marshall set up Spargoland, a charity that’s primary aim is to create a hair salon which caters for the needs of people with cerebral palsy, autism as well as other disabilities - a first of its kind in the country.

Due to the uniqueness of the non-for-profit venture, Spargoland was named the winner of the Innovation of the Year award at the British Hairdressing Business Awards 2018, which was hosted by TV presenter Vernon Kay and held at the Park Plaza Hotel in London.

Founder of Spargoland Ian Marshall said: “Winning this award isn’t really about hairdressing, it’s about getting hairdressers and others to realise that there are 3.5 million people in the UK who, for whatever reason, be it a physical or learning disability, cannot visit a hairdresser - and yet they deserve to look and feel their best.

“This award is for all of them.

“I have to thank everyone who has supported throughout this endeavour.

“I also have to thank all the mums and dads, as well as the children who have touched my heart along this journey.”

Ian came up with the idea after his nephew was born with cerebral palsy and he witnessed first hand how difficult life was for him.

The charity is based on the ground floor rear of Spargo Hairdressing, Weald Road, Brentwood.

He said: “I always wanted to create an entirely new kind of salon, one which catered for the needs of the individual.

“We have low level lighting, sensory spaces and toys as a distraction for those who find it hard to sit still.

“We cut their hair however it is easiest for them; in a chair, walking behind them as they move or lying on the floor.

“Last week I was hugged by the father of a boy who had never had his hair cut.

“He was a 6ft carpenter reduced to tears because for once his boy could have his hair cut like any other child, in a space that was safe and just for him.

“That’s why Spargoland exists.”

The charity is currently fundraising to ensure more stylists can be trained to deliver haircuts to children and adults with additional needs. Anyone interested in supporting Spargoland, either through a donation or as a hairdresser, you can contact Ian via email - office@spargoland.co.uk or visit here

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