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A Bloke with a Pair of Scissors and Time to Help

By Madeleine Gray on August 5, 2016 in News

Photo: Grant Brooks

Photo: Grant Brooks

How do you give back to the community when you don’t have much money? Stacy Batchelor from Clovelly knows the answer: time. Your time is the best thing that you can give to people in need.

Batchelor works in digital sales management, and as much as he enjoys “finding the best celebrities to market products”, he admits “media is a consuming identity”. He wanted to find something else to concentrate on, and for that something to be non-self-serving.

A mate suggested that he become a barber, and instead of dismissing the proposition as comic banter, Batchelor saw an opportunity to help the homeless community in the Eastern Suburbs. And so Batcho el Barbero was born.

“When you don’t have a home, you can’t have a shower, you can’t clean yourself up,” Mr Batchelor told The Beast.

“Your hair gets unkempt, and people judge you because of that. They assume you’re crazy or something.”

After crowdfunding a TAFE barbering course, Batchelor started setting up shop at Norman Andrews House in Bondi, giving free haircuts to the homeless men there.

“The best thing about it is that you just make a guy’s life a bit better,” Mr Batchelor explained.

“For some of these guys it’s just about having personal contact. Having a bit of chat, a handshake, and a pat on the back.

“For guys who live on the street, that’s super important. That’ll probably be the first touch contact they’ve had with another person in ages.”

He’s not wrong. Think about the last time you shook hands with a homeless person. Exactly.

Batchelor has now signed on to do haircuts for the kids at WAYS Youth Centre in Bondi, too.

“We have a laugh with the grommets, make them look a bit fly,” he laughed.

“I’m not a serious person. Kids think I’m a crazy bearded wrestler.”

When questioned as to what he thinks is the biggest reason guys are ending up on the street, Mr Batchelor answered without hesitation.

“It’s mental health,” he said. “There is not enough support for mental health.

“When you lose your home because of it, a cycle begins, and you can’t get back in front.”

However, as much as time is the most important thing, Mr Batchelor admits that “to be able to give, you have to have some money, otherwise your own lifestyle suffers”. As such, Batcho El Barbero also does haircuts for money, through a mobile service. Give them a call, and Batcho and the team will come to your place and “have a haircut party – a bev, some banter, and we’ll clean up after”.

Paying customers also have the option of giving $10 to ‘pre-pay’ a cut for the homeless – just enough to keep the scissors sharp and the hair gel in supply.

The plan for the future is to expand, and to build up a network of barbers and charities across Australian cities. Ideally, Mr Batchelor would like to do barbering full-time, which would allow him to subsidise the charity side of things.

If you want to get involved, or get a stylish cut for yourself, check out