Sustainability isn’t just about the planet! Yep, you read that right. ‘Planet, people and progress’ make the three P’s of sustainability. That’s why volunteering to help people is so important – whether you volunteer with Sustainable Salons to cut hair or give beauty treatments, register as a drop-off point for shelter donations, fundraise for charity, or something else that speaks to you, volunteering is just as important for YOU as it is for sustainability! Here are five reasons why, with stories from our volunteers:
1. GROW, GROW, GROW
Even making a small effort to reach out to your community can help grow your business. Volunteering encourages team bonding, connects you with like-minded people in your industry, and puts your name out in the community. Plus, your hair and beauty skills can instantly make a difference to someone’s confidence, self-image or just make their day – helping them on their journey too!
Lee-Ann Suthern from Toni& Guy Newtown in NSW always gets more from volunteering than she gives…
“Being able to give back to the wider community using my skills is more rewarding than I could imagine. Volunteering with the Sustainable Salons teams is a great day – talking, sharing and being there in the community is a great way to spend a couple of hours.”
2. CHANGE THE WORLD
Many small actions turn into a huge impact! The good actions of a few can influence the culture of a pocket of people, then a community, then a city… and before you know it, an entire country starts to evolve its policies with sustainable principles because its people are already living it.
Leanne Devine from HeadOffice Hair Specialist in NSW was inspired by Sustainable Salons’ passion for our community events, and she registered to snip some locks at Eat.Shop.Chop…
“I had such a great time and was on a big high when I came back to the salon, and that in turn made some of my staff want to participate in the next one. Now we can’t wait to be a part of future events and do our part to give back to the community!”
3. OPEN THE LOOP
One of the United Nation’s goals for sustainability is “the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status”. Community events create a safe space where everyone can feel included, and gives people the access they need to important services that can help them become a part of their community.
Zowie Evans from Zowie Evans Hairdressing in Carlton experienced first-hand at Melbourne City Mission how volunteering can help someone feel included. She was cutting the hair of a young man who was closed off to conversation…
“I noticed a patch of hair that looked as though it was pulled out and asked him about it. He was shocked that I’d noticed and opened up, saying nobody had believed his story before. We spent two hours talking and his story was very moving. At the end, he asked if it was ok to give me a hug and told me it was a very nice thing I was doing.” Afterward, a youth worker told Zowie that particular young man hadn’t spoken about his life with anyone before. “I felt very privileged he chose me.”
4. SKILL UP
Helping out at a not-for-profit or a volunteer event often requires learning on the spot and taking on new tasks. This can help you grow your skills and improve your own business, keeping you on top of the game and sustaining your business growth. It’s also a great opportunity for team bonding and strengthening! Helping yourself while helping others? Don’t mind if we do!
Mel Corthine from Stevie English Hair in NSW says volunteering has enriched her professionally and personally…
“I learned about non-violent communication during my Rough Edges training, and working at the Eat Chop Shop salon has definitely improved my multi-tasking and customer service skills! On a personal level, volunteering gives me greater empathy and gratitude and has made me a better communicator and manager, and the shared team experience of volunteering at Eat Chop Shop has definitely bonded my staff together.”
5. SHINE THE LIGHT
Through volunteering partnerships, we can raise awareness of issues and organisations far more quickly. Awareness in any form helps organisations that support people in need, even if it’s just by talking about those organisations to friends, families and clients. By increasing awareness, it helps these organisations get the volunteers and funding they need to continue helping to create enduring change to support our communities!
At our biannual Eat.Shop.Chop community event, Sustainable Salons brings together several organisations that provide different services to people in need. From food, to clothes, to laundry services and haircuts, having all of these services in one space means that our guests can learn about a few organisations in one day and what they can offer. Without volunteers this wouldn’t be possible!
Andre Faiva from Revolution Hairdressing in Queensland learned about and volunteered at the Endeavour Foundation through Sustainable Salons…
“Volunteering for the day with Endeavour Foundation was a fantastic day, the real highlight was meeting the incredible volunteers and supported employees who work at Endeavour and then being able to give back. Seeing the joy and smiles after giving them a simple haircut was amazing.”