New barbershop working to support mental health officially opens
- Credit: Megan Casey
A new barbershop which hopes to support men’s mental health has officially opened.
The male grooming chain MR Barbers opened its newest site in Thetford on Monday.
After weeks of renovation works, the former Coral betting shop in Bridges Walk has been transformed into a “modern and relaxing” environment with the brand’s distinctive yellow and grey interior.
The business will be run by co-owners Megan Casey, Jacob Gallally and Mark Lovell.
Ms Casey said: “It has been a bit of a whirlwind. Our builders have worked so hard to get the shop how it is today. It looks amazing.
“Everyone who has come in have just said ‘wow’. I love it all, including the bar and television. You don’t often get that in barbershops.
“We wanted to create an experience and I think we have done that.”
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The MR Barbers franchise works closely with the 12th Man project, a campaign which aims to help all men talk more openly about their feelings.
All of its Thetford barbers have received mental health first aid training, to know how to spot if someone is struggling and what to do to support them.
On Sunday, November 21, the barbershop ran a charity event and gave 100pc of proceedings to the 12th Man project.
The 31-year-old said: “I previously lost a customer to suicide. I had only cut his hair a few times and I blamed myself for so long.
“It’s about really listening to our clients. That is a massive part of our business.”
The Thetford site currently has an empty room which will either be turned into a treatment room or will be hired out to a tattooist.
When business picks up, Ms Casey said they also hope to bring in new apprentices.
She added: “Honestly, I have been an emotional wreck. I haven't stopped crying.
“This is a massive dream come true and a massive opportunity for me. I’m so proud. I can’t believe we are actually here I can’t believe this is our shop.”