Hair students from Chichester College showcased their talent at a special ‘Dinner with Lee Stafford’ event.
Local salons were invited to the evening – held in the college’s 64 Restaurant last week - which saw them enjoy a three-course dinner cooked and served by catering and hospitality students.
Between courses, small groups of hair students presented their models as they showcased techniques they have learnt, from twisted tong curls to hair up as well as colouring.
The students, a mix of apprentices and full-time students, are trained at the college’s Lee Stafford Education Academy by the college’s team of lecturers who receive ongoing training and professional development from award-wining celebrity hairdresser Lee Stafford and his team of experts.
Lee attended the evening, and was left impressed by the standard of work on show – both in the salon and in the kitchen.
He said: “It was a great evening, and created a real buzz with local employers. It was the kind of event that gives students something to reach for.
“I thought it was great seeing the students preparing – they looked so competent in the way they were working and they did an amazing job, especially considering some of them are only six months into their courses!
“The food and service was brilliant too. I think it was a real quality evening which just shows what a great job Chichester College is doing across the board.”
Shelagh Legrave OBE, Chief Executive of the Chichester College Group, was also among the guests at the showcase and she echoed Lee’s admiration.
She added: “I was very impressed by the standard of work on show. The hair students produced some outstanding looks, which really demonstrated their talent and commitment.
“And that was reflected in the superb dinner that our catering students served, which was delicious.
“All of the students and staff involved with the evening should be extremely proud of the high standards that they are achieving. It is inspiring to see.”
The college was one of the first to partner with Lee Stafford back in 2015, committing to delivering cutting edge training to hair students in the region.
Since then, seven college lecturers have been named ‘Master Trainers’, which means they have achieved Big 10s in the 22 recipes (techniques used to master different elements of hair styles, cuts and colours) delivered at Lee Stafford Education partner colleges.
Big 10s are awarded to trainers who have reached the highest standard of achievement during their own practical assessments.
Lee said: “There are seven Master Trainers here. It takes a lot of work to get to that level, and an enormous amount of dedication, passion and talent – something that college trainers aren’t always given credit for having by the industry.
“I just see so much enthusiasm and talent in the team here at Chichester and you need that. If you want to create enthusiastic and passionate students, the trainers have to reflect that.
“We came to Chichester four years ago and it was already an outstanding college. Most colleges and most college principals would say ‘we’re already outstanding, what can you really tell us’ – but that wasn’t the attitude here.
“There was – and is – a real desire to continue improving and that’s why this college is outstanding.”