A very personalised grant.
Kiera, a shy, lovely girl was in Year 9 at the time of her grant. She lacked confidence and tended to be overlooked when in class because she is so quiet. The referral to Buttle UK came from her school, who had noticed that her hair had not been combed for months and other students were bullying her because of the way it made her look. She had tried to put it back into a pony tail however you could see knots and matted hair with some of it looking like dread locks.
The school contacted her dad and asked him to come into school to discuss this issue. He said that Kiera’s mom died over two years ago. When she was alive, mum used to sit Kiera down on the floor in front of her and comb, plait and curl her hair in many different styles. Since she died it seems that Kiera hadn’t combed her hair or taken care about her whole appearance. Dad told said that whenever he tried to address this issue she would dismiss it or storm upstairs to her bedroom. He has tried getting her aunt to take her to the hairdressers, but again, Kiera refuses to talk about it. Dad feels that its a negative reflection on him since his wife died but he also said that he thought Kiera was slipping into a state of depression due to her refusal to address certain issues.
Kiera had some counselling, but it wasn’t getting very far, so the school arranged for another referral for more appropriate bereavement counselling.
After speaking to Kiera at length, she told the family support worker at the school that she does want her hair to look nice, but the problem is she doesn’t know how comb and maintain it. The school asked Kiera is she would be prepared to talk to an ex-pupil, Chloe, who now works in a local hairdressers, about her hair. It took a while but eventually Kiera said yes. Kiera was able to speak with Chloe in private so that the other students wouldn’t know. Chloe talked to Kiera about the different options about what could be done with her hair ie, cut if off and start again, treat it, condition it, style it etc. It seemed to help, and Kiera agreed to go and get it sorted out.
Dad is not working, and he is finding things a difficult as he is a single parent, the cost of the hair appointment was beyond him. So Buttle UK agreed to pay for Kiera’s hair care.
The Family Support Worker took her to a hair salon in Birmingham city centre. The appointment took five and a half hours with up to five people tackling the mass of knots. It would have been easier to cut it off, but the staff at the salon were sensitive to Kiera’s situation and very patient. They had to stop a few times because the pain was too much for Kiera to bear but the final result was amazing. Kiera now has long, blonde, soft, manageable hair.
Seeing the smile on her face after it was done was absolutely priceless. The difference I see in Kiera already this morning in school is remarkable. She’s smiling, walking upright, looking radiant and appears so much more confident in herself– she’s like a totally different child.