We sat down with Victor Pajak, owner of Headquarters Hair Salon in Kingston and a member of our Heart Team, to ask him a few questions. As a long-term fundraiser for hairdressers in need, he was awarded our Jayne Henderson Award at our charity ball earlier in the year and is the official organiser for our annual Bike Ride. Here’s what he had to say…
How did you come across The Hairdressers’ Charity and what made you want to get involved?
At Headquarters Hair Salon, we’ve always supported HABB, so I was pleased to continue that support when it gained charity status, and became The Hairdresser’s Charity.
You organised the Italian Bike Ride in 2017, how did it feel to find out you’d helped to raise over £10,000?
Raising so much money was such a thrill and an added bonus.
To be honest, myself, Lynn Hickey and Julie Allen were keen to organise the trip because we thought it would be good fun. So, to have raised over £10,000 whilst doing so was amazing!
Give us an overview of the upcoming Portugal Bike Ride, and tell us why you think people should sign up.
The Portugal Bike Ride 2018 will be the most fun that anyone can have with their Lycra on! Come and join 35 of the nicest, like-minded riders in the industry, all of mixed ability, as we cycle through the countryside and coastal routes in gorgeous sunshine.
Every individual will have their own challenges and, as a team, we’ll all help them to achieve them.
You’ll come back with a new bunch of friends and a suntan!
Have you any advice for people looking for sponsorship for events like the Portugal Bike Ride, and how they’re best approaching people?
- Getting sponsorship for any worthy cause is getting tougher and tougher. My advice would be to start early, even now wouldn’t be too soon. Start talking about it straight away.
- Go onto the Charity website and study how the money raised is used to help people in need, that will help you explain to people why you have been inspired to do the challenge.
- Put a collection tin, with the charity logo on it, at reception and you’d be surprised how the odd £1 adds up.
- Point out to your team that any one of them could be a beneficiary one day so they should all be sponsoring you. I’d suggest having a day where all “tips” collected are given to the cause.
- Organise a Fashion show as a ticketed event with all proceeds going to the cause. And the good old “JustGiving Page” always works a treat.
As we’ve pointed out, the Italy Bike Ride last year was a huge success, but this year you’ve decided to move it to Portugal. What was your reason for this?
The reason I chose Portugal was simply for a change. Italy was amazing, but Portugal has similar terrain and, being further south, should have more sunshine. Also, I’ve been able to secure a 5-star hotel at pretty much the same price as last year. So, more luxury and warmer weather.
Again, we will be having three guides so there will be three groups so ALL levels of ability from beginners to experts will be catered for.
What would your top cycling tip be for those joining you on the Portugal Bike Ride?
Top tip would be to spend as much time in the saddle before the trip. The more hours you can clock up the less saddle sore you’ll be, and the more enjoyment you’ll have.
How did it feel to be presented with the Jayne Henderson Fundraising Award at our Valentine’s Ball?
Getting the award was a total shock. To be honest, I was only half listening when it was being announced, then all the sudden I realised that all around people were staring at me and pointing.
It then dawned on me what was happening and I was honestly speechless, which didn’t help when I was asked to promote the Portugal Ride with no notes! But, of course, I was honoured.
Tell us where you keep the trophy.
The Trophy has taken pride of place in our salon awards cabinet. It makes me smile every day.
Are you thinking of doing any in-salon fundraising at Headquarters this year? If so, what have you got planned?
We’ll definitely be doing the “One Hour, One Day”. It’s so simple and it’s such an easy way to raise money and, as a bonus, you can grow your clientele too!
What do you think people can do to spread the word about The Hairdressers’ Charity?
Wear the badge. They are attractive and can be worn with pride. It’s amazing how many people notice and ask questions, which gives you a way into promoting the charity.