Giving back is something businesses often do in the form of community-based projects and as part of their corporate social responsibility. Bannah Suffren aka ‘Cutty Ranks’ is a popular barber who is no stranger to being on both ends – the receiving and giving. As a young entrepreneur he has been honouring his social responsibility for some time now, thanks to the assistance of many corporate entities and individuals here through the Community Outreach Grooming Project which is a schools’ grooming programme for boys.
On Thursday January 7th, 2016, newly appointed General Manager of The Landings St. Lucia, Wilbert Mason, presented a cheque to Suffren to further the schools’ grooming programme. In attendance was Jana Suffren, wife and partner in the pioneer programme. Said Wilbert Mason, “If kids feel that they can go to school feeling that their grooming is being taken care of, then they will learn much more. We will definitely continue to support this initiative and, as time goes by, we will do whatever we can to assist.” He continued, “The initiative was something the previous board of directors started, so I am just continuing from where they left off. I think it is a very great programme and, as a business, we have our social responsibilities and I think that giving back to the communities and giving back to the youth will be something that can impact them and their education in a big way.”
According to Jemmina Conchon, Executive Assistant to the GM and Board of Directors and Events Manager, the company is on board for the long haul with Suffren. “We started the initiative from last September 2015 and this will be continuous while The Landings exists,” Conchon stated. The schools’ grooming programme caters to an average of 2,000 children per year. Jana Suffren told The STAR, “The principals are the ones who refer the students to us. They are in charge of that and they get consent from the various parents. When they have attained a certain number, they call us to let us know the figure and the students then come to us and we take it from there.”
‘Cutty Ranks’ believes that it is important to focus on the youngsters, especially those who come from troubled homes. It is something I will continue to do by God’s grace as long as the support is there,” he said. The barber advised that in addition to offering the free haircuts, he makes it his business to identify cases where the boys may have scalp infections and assists by providing them with products. “We recently received from the Venezuelan Embassy a number of toiletries such as shampoo, roll-ons and soap. We usually get assistance from Consolidated Foods Limited (CFL), a number of products as well, so we can distribute these to individuals. It is something that I see happening successfully and it’s really helping to steer the programme on to assist some of these young students out there who are in need of it,” he disclosed.