An 80-year-old hairdresser from Bridlington who is celebrating a decade of volunteering his skills at a local hospice for the terminally ill has won the Prime Minister’s Point of Light award.
John Langley, who began his hairdressing career in 1955, is one of the latest recipients of the award from the Prime Minister, which recognises outstanding individual volunteers, people who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
John retired in 2005 and now dedicates his time to volunteering at St Catherine’s Hospice, where he trims and styles hair, giving dignity to patients who attend the day hospice on a weekly basis.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “John is a credit to his profession. I’m delighted to name him a Point of Light in recognition of his decade of service, using his hairdressing skills to give patients at St Catherine’s Hospice dignity and comfort at the end of their lives.”
During the ten years he has volunteered at St Catherine’s, which provides specialist care for people with life-limiting illnesses, John has donated many hours of his time to providing hundreds of haircuts and scores of shampoo and sets to patients from across Scarborough, Whitby, Ryedale, Bridlington and Driffield.
Upon receiving the award, John said: “After 50 years in hairdressing, the opportunity came along for me to continue hairdressing, whilst also doing a good deed for local people in my community. I jumped at the chance to get involved and still thoroughly enjoy giving all the patients at the hospice star treatment. I’m amazed that my work has been recognised and delighted to have been chosen for a Points of Light.”
John started out at Auty’s salon in Leeds, following a three-year stint as a soldier in the Royal Engineers. He went on to set up his own salon in Bridlington’s South Marine Drive, naming it Langley Hair Fashions in 1961. When comedian Les Dawson came to Bridlington for a summer season in the 1980s, he called in for a cut. But despite this celebrity encounter it has always been his local clients who hold a special place in John’s heart.
Greg Knight MP said: “I am delighted that John’s generosity and hard work has been recognised by the Prime Minister. John has dedicated so many years to helping vulnerable and often very ill people in their last moments. His work is an inspiration to us all.”
Carina Saxby, Medical Director of Saint Catherine’s, also added her thanks to John.
“Without the goodwill and generosity of John and all our volunteers, the service Saint Catherine’s provides to our patients and families just wouldn’t be possible,” she said.
“We’re thrilled that the Prime Minister has recognised the contribution made by John and highlighted the importance of the work of our volunteers.”