Wigan care leaver celebrates success in hairdressing competition
A care leaver has proved to be a cut above the rest in his new career.
Hairdresser Tommy Taylor was awarded first runner up in the regional finals of the Concept Hair Apprentice of the Year competition.
The 21-year-old spent time in care as a young person and is currently working towards an NVQ level three qualification at Wigan and Leigh College and completing his apprenticeship at Rebel hair salon in Wigan.
Tommy has spoken about how he has used the misconceptions some people have about care leavers as motivation in establishing his career.
He said: “I always wanted to go into hairdressing. When I was younger, I was always styling my sister’s hair.
“I use the negative stereotype some people might have of care leavers to push me forward as I want to prove everyone wrong.
“My foster mum also made sure I had a good work ethic and insisted I get a job as soon as I left school.”
Tommy’s career got off to a great start after securing a highly sought-after training place at the Trevor Sorbie salon in Manchester.
He said: “After leaving school I got a job straightaway in a local salon and one of my clients recommended the training at Trevor Sorbie.
“It was great when I got a place there. It was a big team and everyone was so professional. I learned so much and it gave me a new level of confidence.”
Wigan Council offers a package of support for young people when they leave care.
In addition to being exempt from council tax and prescription charges up to the age of 25, the package includes free internet access, a TV licence, gym passes and driving lessons.
Tommy added: “Since leaving care, I’ve been supported by the care leavers’ team at the council and they’ve been there for me in really practical ways, such as helping me to find somewhere to live and sort out furniture, checking to make sure I’m okay and even buying me the hairdryer I needed for my birthday.”
Cabinet member Coun Jenny Bullen, said: “We’re so proud of everything Tommy has achieved.
“He’s a fantastic example to all young people as he proves that if you work hard and take the opportunities that come along, it is possible to achieve the things that are important to you.
“I want to wish him lots of success and happiness in his chosen career.”
If you are a young care leaver and want to know more about the support Wigan Council can offer you, go to wigan.gov.uk and search for ‘care leavers’.