Following a breast cancer diagnosis, Amanda started Wig Bank Glasgow in March 2013 to support cancer patients and extreme hair loss sufferers through the resale and donation of NHS wigs. Amanda said:
For me the worst part of all the treatments was losing my hair during chemotherapy. I found the process of obtaining a wig with my NHS voucher quite a cold experience and as I am a former hairdresser, I was determined that no other woman should be made to feel like that again.
In 2014, Amanda applied to the West Dunbartonshire Challenge for funding and business support to grow Wig Bank Glasgow and become a sustainable business.
Wig Bank Glasgow had already helped over 200 women in the West of Scotland, covering West Dunbartonshire, Argyll and Bute, and parts of Glasgow. Amanda wanted to expand her range of services to create a haven for women undergoing extreme hair loss either due to chemotherapy or alopecia. She now offers a range of beauty services alongside the supply, fitting and styling of wigs.
Aware of the mental health aspect of a diagnosis, Amanda also runs counselling and group therapy support sessions based on her own experience as a trained counsellor.
We treat each client individually, so that attending the Wig Bank becomes a positive and uplifting experience, offering treatments not easily accessible or affordable in a time of need.
Now known as WOW Glasgow, they expanded into new premises in 2015 and became a registered charity in January 2016. WOW Glasgow is licensed to provide wigs via NHS prescription and also owns the contract for the Little Princess Trust, fitting wigs for children across the west coast of Scotland.
The salon that supports the charity has grown from strength to strength, now employing 11 members of staff – that's 11 people taken off benefits and either being paid an above average wage or working for themselves.
On average the enterprise donates £10k per annum to women and children suffering emotional or financial stress due to a cancer diagnosis.
WOW Glasgow is based at 475 Dumbarton Road, Clydebank. Visit their website for more information.
Find out more about the West Dunbartonshire Social Enterprise Challenge.