New barbers keen to set up hub for people who feel isolated
- Credit: Archant
A couple have opened a barbershop which they hope will become a social hub for people who are feeling isolated or struggling with mental health issues.
Caroline Brittain, from Portishead, decided to open the business with her husband Muz when he 'hit rock bottom' after suffering from depression for 20 years.
Their son, Ethan, was also diagnosed with post traumatic stress (PTSD) after witnessing a friend die during a table tennis match.
The family decided to make some drastic changes to support Muz and Ethan and to help others going through similar situations.
Caroline, who also works as a business consultant, said: "We've had a bit of a rough time and we didn't know what to do - our family was in pieces.
"We went on holiday and it all come together. I was sitting by a barbershop with my son and he told me he wasn't enjoying his college course. I said 'why don't you do something different, like this?'
"The barbers had a real connection with people on a day-to-day basis.
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"We took a course together and started looking for premises."
Caroline and Muz have just opened BossCut Barbers, in Wyndham Way, and their son Ethan has also joined the business.
The barbershop has five floors and can cater for men, women and children and they are also planning to rent space out to charities.
It also has a retro arcade game and a chessboard and people can pop in for a hot drink or a beer.
She said: "My husband has never been happier.
"He's really out the other side of it.
"It's about making people feel they have got somewhere to go to relax where they can connect with people - they don't have to have a hair cut.
"We want everyone to feel great when they walk out."
The barbershop has four staff and Caroline has also taken on two apprentices from Weston College.
She added: "The mind is such a fragile thing.
"We need to listen and be there for people as it can be a lonely place.
"I think there's something we can do to help and we also get fulfilment and enjoy it rather than feel it's a job.
"It is a win, win for everybody."
Staff will also be undertaking training so they can offer support to customers.