Well done to these Chesterfield girls, who've brought joy to homeless Sam

Generous hair stylists Sophie Windsor, Torie Piggott, Beth Richardson, Danielle Boler and Georgia Hewitt. Pictures by Jason Chadwick.
Generous hair stylists Sophie Windsor, Torie Piggott, Beth Richardson, Danielle Boler and Georgia Hewitt. Pictures by Jason Chadwick.
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Big-hearted staff at a Chesterfield hairdressers have made a big difference to a homeless man's life.

The workers at NJUK Hair and Beauty on West Bars invited Sam Watkinson to the salon for a free haircut after they saw him sleeping rough in the town centre.

Well done, ladies!

Well done, ladies!

Sophie Windsor, a stylist at Viviennes, said: "He was so happy with it.

"He was so grateful - he couldn't have been more thankful.

"Sam doesn't ask for anything.

"He's a sweetheart who is in a really sad position."

Sam Watkinson pictured last year when the Derbyshire Times spoke to him to get his story.

Sam Watkinson pictured last year when the Derbyshire Times spoke to him to get his story.

The Derbyshire Times has reported extensively on homelessness in Chesterfield.

Giving her thoughts on the emotive issue, Sophie said: "I think it's really, really awful and I think more needs to be done about it.

"Homeless people are human beings and I think if you walk past someone who's sleeping rough you should stop and have a chat with them.

"It costs nothing but it'll make such a big difference to that person."

The Derbyshire Times spoke to Sam on the steps of Chesterfield's old Co-op building last year.

At the time, the 29-year-old - who has been homeless for a number of years - said: "I feel so vulnerable sleeping rough.

"Night time is the worst time.

"I can't sleep because I'm worried I'm going to be attacked - or worse.

"I have no idea where my next meal will come from."

Complex personal issues led to Sam sleeping rough.

He said: "Growing up, I didn't think I'd end up in this situation.

"But anyone can become homeless.

"Nobody really knows what's going to happen in their lives.

"You could end up being here one day."

Sam has previously been offered accommodation - but it is not always permanent or appropriate.

"In the past I've been offered a place living with an arsonist – so I've ended up back on the streets again," he said.

He added: "Most people are wonderful - and I'd like to say a big thank you to them.

"But some people aren't so kind.

"I've been spat on and called 'a disgusting smackhead' - but I'm not.

"People are very quick to judge the homeless - they don't stop and ask you for your story."

Despite his current situation, Sam told how he was optimistic about the future.

He said: "I've got to have hope and I've got to keep smiling.

"I'd like to see a hostel for the homeless in Chesterfield.

"I don't want to be like this forever."

► If you speak to a rough sleeper, tell them about these organisations which can help them - or contact them directly and tell them about the individual. Your intervention could make a huge difference to a fellow human being's life.

Pathways

120 Saltergate, Chesterfield

01246 498204

www.pathwaysofchesterfield.co.uk

The P3 Charity

0115 850 8190

www.p3charity.org

Framework

0115 841 7711

www.frameworkha.org