Winning an Award Gave us the Confidence to go for a National Accolade

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Winning an award at The News Hair and Beauty Awards was a valuable experience for one salon. As excitement grows for this year’s awards, which opened for entries last week, Steve Churcher from Haha Training in London Road, North End said he hopes the salon and academy will be recognised again, so they can round off a successful year with another accolade.

Haha Training won the ‘Training Centre of Excellence’ award in last year’s competition. Steve who co-owns the salon with Gill Cowan said,

Winning gave us the confidence and recognition to go for a national award.

They entered the Apprenticeships for England Awards 2016, which recognises organisations for their commitment, hard work, achievements and success in apprenticeship programmes. Haha, which opened in May 2012, was given a bronze award in the ‘Apprentices in Learning’ category and collected the accolade at the Emirates Stadium, London last month.

Steve, the former managing director of Back-2-Basics Training Limited and a former lecturer at Highbury College, said,

Being such a young company we were completely honoured to be the only hairdressing and barbering organisation to be shortlisted in the awards. We were overwhelmed with winning the bronze award in our category, which is outstanding. Winning the ‘Training Centre of Excellence’ award through The News last year, plus being shortlisted in the awards the previous year, identified that our brand is growing. We also maintained our five star Good Salon Guide rating. We are delighted as all this means the academy is getting the recognition it deserves.

As well as winning awards, the academy has helped to raise thousands of pounds for charity. It held its first charity ball at The Royal Beach Hotel, Southsea, in aid of The Little Princess Trust – a charity that provides real hair wigs for children undergoing cancer treatment.

The sell-out night saw the students pitch in and put on entertainment for more than 170 guests, including a raffle with 25 donated prizes, which raised more than £3,000.

Steve said the academy was looking forward to this year’s awards,

We’re passionate about what we do and how we do it, making a difference to young people at the beginning of their hairdressing or barbering careers; and these awards recognise what we stand for.

Gill, who has more than 30 years as a hairdresser and has owned three hair salons, said,

This is a great start to another busy year.

There are 12 categories in this year’s awards. The winners will be announced at a ceremony at Portsmouth Guildhall on Saturday July 2nd.

This article was featured in The News Portsmouth and was written by Business Editor Kimberley Barber. Picture: Mick Young

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