Wigan hair salon welcome Ukrainian refugee as new stylist

A Wigan hair salon has employed a Ukrainian evacuee to help her to rebuild her life in the borough.

Joanne Cottam, who owns Haus of Hair on Darlington Street, set up a Facebook page for Ukrainian refugees in Wigan to be able to meet and communicate with one another.

She posted on the page advertising a position for a refugee from Ukraine to come and work at her hair salon.

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And she was delighted to welcome stylist Inna Hashynska who had a salon of her own back in the home country she had to flee.

Joanna Cottam shows Inna Hashynska the ropes at her salon. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
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Inna had arrived in Wigan just the week before the advert went out, as she sought sanctuary with her son and mother but having to leave her husband and father behind to defend their country.

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Her sister, Alina – already a Wigan resident - messaged Joanne and explained Inna’s situation; that she owned her own hair salon back in Ukraine but had had to abandon it in order to escape to the UK.

Ms Cottam just couldn’t refuse and met with Inna to offer her the job.

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Owner Joanna Cottam has taken in Ukranian refugee Inna Hashynska to work at her salon The Haus of Hair in Wigan. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Ms Cottam said: "Inna is so kind-hearted and her story broke my heart, I knew I needed to help.

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“I can’t even begin to imagine how I would feel in her situation.”

Ms Cottam announced her salon’s new colleague on its social media page to help give her a warm welcome and gain some new clients.

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And on the page Inna wrote: “I had to leave everything behind to save mine, my son’s and my mother’s lives.

Owner Joanna Cottam has taken in Ukranian refugee Inna Hashynska to work at her salon The Haus of Hair in Wigan. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
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“My husband and father have stayed in Ukraine to defend our beautiful country.

“In Ukraine I was a hairdresser for over 10 years and owned a little salon but sadly I had to leave it and everything that was in it.

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“I am happy to say, ‘thank you’ to Joanne, that I have the chance to rebuild my life and provide for my son here in the UK.”

Inna started working at the salon on, April 12, and has settled in nicely after recieving a warm reception from colleagues and clients.

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Ms Cottam said: “She’s doing great, it’s amazing, to see the strength that she has.

“We’re getting by on Google Translate and the clients are so supportive of her.”