Bernard Suffren also known as Cutty Ranks, a barber on Mary Anne Street in Castries says he is humbly playing his part in helping the society become a better place by using his God given talent and what he is passionate about, barbering, to assist hundreds of less fortunate young boys around the island.
In February 2012, the young barber, with the support of his wife, started a program offering schoolboys free haircuts. Since then, he has received support from various schools, his customers and other individuals. However, on Thursday April 4, Diamonds International came to the assistance of the program in a major way with a donation of EC$1,300 dollars during a brief ceremony at the barbershop.
Speaking on behalf of Diamonds International Thursday, Andre Fontenelle expressed that the work being done by “Cutty” was a wonderful initiative.
“This program, which is reaching out to the students, is a nice way of understanding that not everyone may be able to afford something as simple as a hair cut,” he started by saying. And now, with the assistance of Diamonds International we can go the extra mile, offering that extra smile to our children, our future, and allowing them to truly shine bright like diamonds,” he added.
In accepting the check from Diamonds International Thursday, Bernard Suffren said his efforts for the program started in 2012 out of concern for young boys around the island who just could not afford a regular haircut.
“I really just wanted to do something to assist those less fortunate children around our communities, and on behalf of the young boys I really want to thank Diamonds International and the manager Hugh Jones for this contribution,” Suffren said.
According to him the donations received do not only go towards his efforts to reach out to students and offer them a free hair cut, but also to talk to them about personal hygiene.
“Not only do I speak to them about hygiene, but I use some of the money we receive to provide these boys who cannot afford with things like soap, shampoo, deodorant and brushes as a way of improving their lives and their overall grooming. This in turn boosts their confidence and enhances their own self-esteem,” the barber explained. Suffren went on to say that there are other health issues involved when it comes to boys and their grooming and the lack thereof could lead to several scalp infections and diseases.
“By offering those who cannot afford a hair cut we can also identify some of those scalp problems and treat them before they get worse,” he says.
One of the conditions for Diamonds International’s assistance Suffren explained Thursday, had to do with sustainability.
“I assured Mr Jones that by the grace of God I would like to continue this program for as long as I can,” he stated. The program has also been endorsed by the Ministry of Education.
Sonia Graham marketing manager of Diamonds International said Thursday that this initiative was one of her first projects when she started with the company.
“When I received the call asking whether we could assist I spoke to Mr Jones who was very excited to be part and parcel of this great initiative,” Graham explained. “For me this is very touching since I started my schooling at Marchand combined. When I heard that it was one of the schools benefitting I was very happy,” she went on to say. “So on behalf of the manager of Diamonds International and staff let me just say that we are quite excited and thrilled to be part of this initiative with Cutty Ranks.”