Meet the Gift Gang

In another of our regular profiles of some of our generous gift donors, we want to introduce you to the wonderful Andreas Wild, Senior Hair Stylist at John Frieda who offers free haircuts each month at the salon in Mayfair in London.

Andreas has a story of his own. Here’s more about him.

“I came to London from Germany 19 years ago and have been at John Frieda for the past 15, so I guess you could say it’s a great place to work. I love cutting hair, but it’s being able to make people feel great about themselves that really matters to me. Hair does give people confidence so if someone leaves the salon feeling happy or different, I’m happy too.

I love cutting the hair of interesting people and have been lucky enough to work with some fabulous celebrities. I once cut Claudia Schiffer’s hair at her house. I was so excited and went to the loo to call my Mum to tell her!

Two years ago I was treated for tongue cancer. I lost some of my hair and beard and found that traumatic, although treatment was a small price to pay to be well again.
When I heard about Ellie’s Friends I was really keen to help as a way of using my talent to help other people who have been diagnosed with cancer. For me it’s more rewarding than just donating money.

Every time someone from Ellie’s Friends comes to the salon I’m honoured they feel able to share their stories which are often heart breaking. Maybe because I have been though it too they are willing to open up. I think people also enjoy the opportunity to forget about their illness, just for an hour, talk about other things, away from their hospital routines and other stresses. And hopefully they leave looking and feeling great. They are all amazing and seem to appreciate things more in life because of their diagnosis.

It's not hard for me to give up this time for someone in need of a boost and I wish that every hairdresser in the country could donate a bit of their time to help make people feel a bit better about themselves when they are going through difficult times.