A generous-hearted salon owner saved the day by donating space on her premises to a rival business after her home was destroyed by a flood.
When news of a devastating flood began to spread at the Benjamin Charles hair salon in North Hill, Colchester, Gerry Thornton, owner of Mango Hair Design in Crouch Street, wanted to help.
Through a Whatsapp group for Colchester Salon Owners created by Easi Hairdressing Academy, Gerry was able to connect with owner Ben and donate the available space in his salon so his staff could continue to make a living.
With repairs set to continue into the new year, Ben’s team moved into the living room, with Gerry saying the two companies came together “like one big family.”
Gerry said: âI had never met Ben before, but I had heard that he is a lovely guy and that he really has a heart of gold.
âI just put myself in this position and I hope someone would do the same if it happened to me.
âWithout it, his livelihood would be ruined. ”
Ben’s premises in North Hill were badly damaged after hot water sprayed from a pipe upstairs, destroying the ceiling and much of the specialized equipment.
Ben said, âWe spent a lot of time during the lockdown getting the salon ready to welcome customers again.
âIt was fantastic when we got back and it was very busy with old and new clients.
âOne morning I woke up to a phone call from my neighbors saying there was water coming out of the front door.
“I jumped in the car and drove down North Hill and saw a crowd of people pull up in front of the living room and a steady stream of water pouring out.”
Ben managed to make his way inside and cut off the power and gas, but the Essex Fire Department had to be called in to stem the flow of water.
âIt was heartbreaking, especially with us having been closed for so many months during the lockdown,â he said.
However, he said the response from the community had been so uplifting.
Ben said, âWe’ve had so many people come forward to help. Gerry came to the rescue. It is very humiliating and I am very grateful to him for it. ”