Every so often in life you come across an absolute gem of a human being. They’re a very rare kind of person but as soon as they enter your life, however fleeting it may be, their impact is unforgettable. Something clicks and they open your eyes to an entirely different world.
In this case that person was Connor Kerr and the world he was opening my eyes to was appropriately named, Another World.
When Connor first reached out to me I was instantly intrigued. First of all, he went to the effort of referencing some of my previous blog posts which, regardless of whether he actually read it, showed he had done his research – something that always bodes well for PRs/brands when contacting a blogger.
Then there was actual cause that he was reaching out to me about.
“Creative non-profit projects”
“Hair and beauty salon with a humanitarian mission”
“Entirely volunteer led initiative”
He had me hook, line and sinker and a few emails later I found myself in the styling chair of Another World’s HQ and pop up salon on 42a University Street, desperate to hear his story and of course, the story behind Another World.
He told me heartbreaking stories from his travels around the world, his extensive volunteering and the inspiration and emotional impact he’d experienced during his time volunteering in aid settings. He also told me the heartwarming stories about the incredible people he met along the way – a lot of whom chipped in to bring Another World’s mission to life.
With a background in fashion, events and hairstyling, Connor has combined his skills, contacts and a cause he’s incredibly passionate about to bring together a series of events and projects that will not only benefit us as a consumers but as an entirely donation based initiative, will help Belfast’s less privileged through The Rainbow Project, the Homeless Period and several Belfast based homeless organisations.
As I sat chatting and listening to Connor, it got me thinking about my Christmas content for this blog.
I could sit here and pull together the most wonderfully luxurious gift guide. I could produce a very frivolous pay day wishlist (both of which I’ve been guilty of doing in the past). Or we could talk about the more important issues going on. We could put our love of wanting to look our very best to better use. We could treat ourselves to an hour of self-care while showing others we care. We could shake off the superficial shackles associated with the world of beauty and fashion and pay attention to those who need our love, support and resources most this Christmas and for the foreseeable future. The reality is that while we may be fussing over what to wear on Christmas Day, what to buy for our Secret Santa or stressing over how we’re going to cram the mass amount of social events into our already overwhelming calendar, there are others out there who don’t have a home to go to or a chance to experience the festive season as we do. Many can’t go home because for whatever reason, they no longer have a home to go to. Suddenly our stresses seem much more insignificant.
I know that charity can be a controversial topic for some, particularly at this time of year. I also know that many will argue that charity starts at home but the beauty of what Connor has created with his Another World events and projects is that it’s an entirely donation based initiative that benefits all involved.
Believe me when I say that I left that salon desperate to get involved in any way I could and I guarantee five minutes in Connor’s company will make you feel the same.
So whether you’re in need of a helping hand to get dolled up for party season, an hour’s escape from the madness of Christmas or whether you would like to get involved in the physical donation of items to Another World’s projects, here’s what you can do to help.
It wouldn’t be Christmas without an endless amount of social events to attend. Social events that involve the need to get your pamper on. Blowdries, up styles and make up appointments all add up. Thankfully Connor and his Another World elves are here to help.
The Hair with a Humanitarian Mission is a non-profit, pop-up salon found in Botanic. All services are offered in exchange of a donation of whatever you can afford with all donations going to The Rainbow Project.
With sponsors such as Hedonist hair providing premium salon space for hair and make up appointments, Paul Meekin, an ambassador for cosmetics giant Revlon, supplying the global brand’s Style Masters rand, Another World have everything you need to get party ready this Christmas.
Appointments can be made here.
I’ve been talking about starting yoga classes for the best part of the last six months. I’m so glad I bit the bullet and made Another World’s Strong For The Week yoga class my first ever session last Monday.
(Shout out to instructor Scott Connor for keeping things simple to understand and easy to follow for this little yoga first timer.)
Strong for the Week yoga and meditation events take place on Monday evenings in the Hedonist salon, Botanic. Unlike the salon there’s no need to book a place in advance. Yoga mats are provided and the events operate on a drop in basis. Simply pay what you can afford in support of Belfast’s less privileged.
If you would rather get involved by donating items to the projects you can get involved with The Love Box, building care packages for Belfast’s homeless community ahead of the cold winter.
Donations may consist of hats, scarves and gloves, female sanitary products and/or treats with all contents going towards those spending the festive period on the streets.
If you would like to make a donation, all products can be taken to In Car Safety Centre, Boucher Road or Another World salon.
For further information about any of the above visit www.anotherworldbelfast.co.uk.