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Exeter hairdresser to receive MBE today

But she wants to help more people at her training salon

Mary Pugsley will today (Thursday 29th March) be presented with an MBE her services to disadvantaged people in Devon. 

She set up Hair@theAcademy at the Exeter Royal Academy for Deaf Education in 2014. It supports vulnerable young people and adults not in education, employment or training, to get qualifications in health & beauty, hairdressing and barbering.

Mary Pugsley said: “Our learners are predominantly in care, homeless, seeking asylum or have a learning disability and experience significant barriers to their learning and opportunities. We provide programmes in salon work experience with excellent links with city-centre salons and been highly successful in empowering and moving learners into employment.” She adds: “I feel very humble to have received an MBE, and still can’t quite believe it. At first when I received the letter from the Cabinet Office, I thought it was a joke until I saw I had to respond to St. James’ Palace! I’m so looking forward to meeting the Queen and will be accepting this wonderful accolade on behalf of my dedicated team and our amazing students.”

All her trainers are former students who want to help others and she has a 96% pass rate for students going on to further education; part-time or full-time work or becoming self-employed.

But Mary would like to help more people and says she is turning people away on a weekly basis, because they have outgrown their current premises at the Deaf Academy. She'd like somewhere with a shop front, ideally in the city centre, that's accessible for all. Mary says space for a break-out room would be great for those who need time alone and an office to cope with administration. Ideally 1,000 sq ft would allow them to offer more services and training like massage and nail treatments. If you think you can help email Mary. 



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