Faced by current financial challenges, parents of Ogmore Vale Primary School were offered some support through the kindness of two local hairdressers, Julie Grant and Lisa Morgan.  The two ladies gave their time and skills for free, providing children with haircuts, ready for their return to school.

Lisa said: “To have the opportunity to support the school and the wellbeing of the children was an absolute privilege. The happy smiles on the children’s faces after having their hair cut and styled was heart-warming, humbling and priceless.”

Parents were very grateful for the generosity of the hairdressers. One mum, Amanda, said: “My twin boys had haircuts. What an amazing opportunity – it has really saved my husband and me a lot of money when things are so tight financially at the moment.”

The kindness of the two ladies isn’t exclusive to the school, but is often felt far and wide, with them belonging to a charitable choir called ‘Maternal Harmony’. The choir was set up in 2013 by Gail James and Francesca Fearn, who both worked in the Peri Natal Response and Management Service (PRAMS) at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. Initially, the choir was established to support women suffering from antenatal and postnatal mental health difficulties, but has since evolved over the years to raise money for many local charities.

Headteacher, Joanne Colsey, said: “As a school we are so conscious of the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on our pupils and their families. We are always looking at ways to support families during certain times of the year when there are added financial pressures, such as the start of a new school year. This year we’ve done this through a uniform swap shop, as well as providing free water bottles and lunch boxes donated by Tescos.

“We were absolutely thrilled that the wonderful ladies of the Maternal Harmony Choir gave up their time to provide free back to school haircuts for our pupils on what was one of the hottest days of the year! We can’t thank them enough.”

Cllr Jon-Paul Blundell, Cabinet Member for Education, said: “I think that Ogmore Vale Primary School has highlighted how schools are positioned at the heart of a community, with the opportunity to support its members unfalteringly.

“The school, with the help of Julie and Lisa from Maternal Harmony, has taught the children about kindness and communities supporting each other – these are values which cannot be taught from a textbook, only from the heart. Well done to all.”