The Bradford barber giving hope and haircuts to…

The Bradford barber giving hope and haircuts to his community

Bradford barber is changing lives by giving hope and haircuts to his community.

Abbas Hussain has worked his way up from cutting hair as an apprentice to owning his own barbershop.

In just five years, The Barber Shop in Heaton has become a safe space for young people to stay off the streets and find a purpose. 

Some of those teenagers have gone on to train up as apprentice barbers at Bradford College and even run their own shops.

Abbas offers free haircuts to patients at Lynfield Mount Hospital as well as home visits for the elderly and vulnerable at reduced prices. 

Reflecting on his journey so far, the 24-year-old said: “I started at a very young age. My cousin opened a shop and took me on as an apprentice. I built my way up and I’ve been cutting hair for 10 years.

“I go inside Lynfield Mount and chat. I like to go in there, put a smile on their faces, make them a bit happier. It makes a person feel a 100 times better. It gives you confidence. When I go inside, they give me a room where I can sit and chat with them.

“I take on apprentices – because I’ve been down that route, going into colleges, getting certificates. I like to give back a bit. I’ve employed a lot of students. I’ve had some people where they feel stressed out, feel they don’t have a life, can’t get any job, falling into depression. I teach them how to cut hair. I want to make a positive impact.”

Abbas sets up a play station in his barbershop during the school holidays and provides advice to those in need.

Describing what drives him to guide the next generation, he said: “In the community there’s a lot of youngsters, I’ve seen what it’s like. Sometimes in the holidays kids can get in trouble. 

“It gives them a bit of company. There’s so many different traumas a person can go through. They can open up with me and I do my best for them. You’ve got to give back, it’s not always about making money.”

He added: “Everybody will always need help, one day if I need help I’ve got to help others.”

But owning a barbershop with a difference is just the start for Abbas. The West Bowling lad dreams of teaching at his own barbering academy.

In a message to other young people living in Bradford, Abbas said: “Have a vision, have some confidence in yourself, have hope. There’s always so many people out there that can help, don’t be afraid to ask.

“You can’t worry about failing, sometimes you’ve got to fail to elevate. Just continue the journey, follow the dream.”

It comes after the previous Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Martin Love, honoured his hard work with a Certificate of Appreciation.

Bradford West MP Naz Shah said: “Abbas is a great role model for young people across the district. Not only does he run a successful business in my constituency but he uses it a platform to engage, support and empower young people. I congratulate him on receiving this recognition from the Lord Mayor. Keep up the great work.”