Hopwood Hall College welcomed a group of school girls to its salon for a morning of pampering after teaming with an organisation that aims to boost confidence in teenagers.
All in all, 17 pupils from Year 9 at Middleton Technology School received beauty treatments as part of a programme through the Girls Out Loud organisation on Wednesday.
The teens had their hair styled and nails painted by students training at the College’s campus in Rochdale.
The Riverside Salon – which is open to members of the public, as well as students – provided the perfect setting to lift the girls’ self-esteem before a special ceremony held at an on-site lecture theatre.
Following a lunch at the campus’ own restaurant, the Riverside Restaurant, the pupils were given gifts and awards after completing the 12-month scheme through Girls Out Loud.
The ‘Big Sister’ programme pairs school girls with older mentors in a year-long effort to boost their self-esteem and raise aspirations.
Hopwood Hall College’s salon, restaurant and lecture theatre provided the perfect location for the pupils to show off their new hair, nails and confidence on the final day on the programme.
Kristy Naylor, Head of Year 9 at Middleton Technology School, said:
“The salon is brilliant. There are great facilities. We are really thankful that we have been able to come here because it was not something we had thought was possible. A lot of our pupils will probably feed into the College so it was nice to do this in a place where they will most likely end up coming to.”
“The girls were shortlisted because they were well-behaved but a bit shy – not aspirational or career-driven. Some of them wouldn’t say boo to a goose before the programme began! But today – in the salon – they were loving it and grinning away. We have never seen them so happy.”
Jacquie Brockett, Salon Instructor at Hopwood Hall College, said:
“This is what the salon is here for. It’s to provide opportunities and to get involved in the community. Hopefully it’s all made them feel confident and ready for what’s to come.”
“The event has also been good for our learners. Some of our student hairdressers have completed assessments, whereas others have received valuable experience.”
Heather Gibbon, Local Lead Big Sister at Girls Out Loud, said:
“The girls all absolutely loved the treatments. I must say the salon itself was ready for us and very professional. They loved being there. I suppose the best thing about the experience is that someone has given those treatments to them. It was just for them and they were asked what they wanted. It’s nice to be pampered.”
Jane Kenyon, Founder of Girls Out Loud, said:
“The programme is for girls who ‘sit in the middle’. They might look for validation in the wrong place. They might focus on external appearance rather than the internal, so you connect them to a female role model who’s ‘been there and done that’.
“They girls had a great time at the College. What an amazing salon and restaurant! We think it is really important that they get to see their next step so that they can get a feel for it. You see one generation supporting another.”