A CARDENDEN hairdresser is hoping to "soften the blow" of Christmas by offering free haircuts to disadvantaged children.

Clare Mitchell, 31, had run a similar scheme last year for homeless people from her salon, Revive, but this year wanted to "give back to children".

She told the Times: "There's a lot of disadvantaged children and I just thought, 'What can I do to soften the blow a bit?'

"They're able to get a wee cut and blow dry or a wee princess pamper, for wee boys maybe a wee cut and a bit of colour just to make it feel like they've had something.

"After doing it for the homeless last year, that was a great success, I just thought 'What can I give back to children this year?'

"There is so much poverty in the area, it's so sad, kids are struggling and sometimes getting made to feel a wee bit special and made a fuss over is all they need."

A mum to a little boy, six-year-old Khyran, herself, Clare says she knows how much joy the festive period can bring to youngsters, and how uplifting a small thing like a hair cut can be.

She continued: "I'm looking forward to it, I am going to get wee selection boxes for them to go away with as well.

"I do quite a variety of children's hair and pamper sessions for children too.

"It's just so sad, some kids have never even sat in a hairdressing chair.

"Sometimes when I am doing kids it's the first time they have come in, but there's obviously people who can't afford to get their hair done or get them a wee pamper.

"It's all part of personal hygiene, really you should be getting your hair done."

And the service would be on a 'no questions asked' basis, with hopes that both parents and social workers will come forward to take up the offer.

"It all comes down to what I can do for the community and the surrounding areas," Clare added.

"There are probably some families who would be too proud to even mention it to you but it's really uncertain times at the moment and people are struggling everywhere.

"I wouldn't go into any detail with anyone, everyone's personal situation is different."

This year Revive is also acting as a "football kit and football boot bank" where people can hand in unwanted kits for children who don't have their own.

Clare said: "It's coming up to the start of the new season and some kids are not going to football because they don't have the equipment they need."

Revive will be offering free haircuts from Clare for children who need them until December 23.

You can book by calling the salon on 01592 383677.