Free haircuts at Forth Valley Royal Hospital

A POP-UP salon at Forth Valley Royal Hospital will be offering free haircuts in return for stories next week, as part of an innovative new arts project.

The temporary salon will be the ‘mane’ attraction in the foyer near the main entrance next Tuesday to Saturday, July 24-28.

The man wielding the scissors is artist and professional hairdresser Alan Grieve.

He will give customers a good haircut which will be easy to maintain, but instead of indulging in the usual salon chat he’ll be encouraging clients to recall and recount events on tape or video.

These can be stories about something special that’s happened to you, or that you’ve found funny.

Alan will then scissor his way through all the recordings and produce and publish a small book of quotes and comments.

These will be illustrated with drawings of what has happened throughout the week, and customers and their carers can collect a copy later.

The cutting-edge idea is the brainchild of NHS Forth Valley’s Charitable Arts and Wellbeing Co-ordinator Babs McCool, who’s appealing to patients and staff to make an appointment.

She said: “There’s nothing like the hairdressers for a bit of good chat and gossip and our mobile salon will be no exception.

“Anyone who feels a bit shy about telling their story can bring someone with them, either to add or share in the story, or even help them remember any bits they’d rather forget!

“Customers will be able to keep a copy of the book as a memento.”

Six or seven people can fit into the pop-up hairdressing salon at any one time, and there is also wheelchair access.

Patients, visitors and NHS and Serco staff can book an appointment (call Babs on 01324 567492 or email babs.mccool@nhs.net) between 10am and 4.15pm from July 24-28.

A number of walk-in slots will also be available for visitors and patients without appointments.

The initiative is part of NHS Forth Valley’s wider art strategy which is designed to involve patients, staff and local people in a wide range of art projects across Forth Valley.