In June of this year Director of The Style Academy Model Agency, Tracey Hall, was approached by the Community Play Specialist from The Children’s Cancer Unit at The Royal Victoria Hospital – Naomi Spence, with a view to organising a fun day, for her female teenage patients, in conjunction with the Children’s Cancer Unit Charity.
Tracey said ‘ Naomi told me that the girls in question were typical teenagers – some were into hair, others nails or make-up and many interested in learning about skincare and she asked to come up with a ‘ fun day out’ idea for them. I immediately thought of our ‘Picture Me’ courses – in which we ‘make over’ members of the public, direct them in front of the camera and supply them with a photographs. We tweaked the content of the course to include a skincare talk, nail art, wig re-shaping, hair cutting and a master class in ‘5 ways to wear a bandana’!
Tracey contacted her friends in the industry – basically the leaders in their respective fields (Rogue Hairdressing, Paddy McGurgan Make-up, Stylist – Sara O’Neill and Nikki Smith Nails) and invited everyone to the agency’s photographic studio for the day earlier this month. Tracey said ‘Everyone was excited to be asked and despite the charity having a budget set aside, all parties waived their fees without hesitation. In an industry which is often perceived as superficial, it was an absolute honour and privilege to work with the girls and see their faces light up when they looked in the mirror and to hear them gasp when they saw their photos’.
‘We staggered arrival times for 11 female patients aged between 13-19 years old, to spend the day at the agency – it was very much like experiencing a day in the life of a model for the girls – which I thought they would enjoy. Some brought along wigs –(which they had previously never been able to wear) – had them re-styled and thinned out by the incredible husband and wife duo, Jodie & Karen from Rogue hairdressing. Others whose hair was in various stages of regrowth, had it trimmed or re-styled and leading Stylist Sara O’Neill gave each girl one to one tuition in wearing a bandana with confidence ! Paddy McGurgan & his team made each girl look absolutely radiant whilst giving skincare tips and Nikki Smith did manicures and individual nail art on each of the girls’ nails’.
The girls got dressed in a favourite outfit, were directed in front of the camera by Agency Director –Tracey Hall and photographed by top fashion photographer Darren Kidd.
Tracey said ‘It was a very emotional and humbling but also exhilarating and uplifting experience for all of us involved – a lesson in taking nothing for granted and enjoying every day to the full. I think I can speak for each one of the make-over team when I say that we would love to repeat the experience for teenagers in the future – such a small thing for us to give – but something so wonderful for both the girls and their parents’.
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Photo Credit: Press Eye/ Darren Kidd